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Bafana back to winning ways 03/07/04
Bafana Bafana got their World 2006 and African Cup 2008 qualifying campaigns back on track with a 2-0 win over Burkina Faso at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

South Africa got off to a great start, creating three good goal-scoring opportunities within the first 10 minutes, but they were not able to convert these chances into goals.

As early as the fourth minute Shaun Bartlett, who was back to his best for this game, struck the upright after interchanging passes with Benni McCarthy. The ball then rebounded into the latter's path, whose weak header went well over the crossbar.

However, in the 13th minute they took the lead when the Charlton Athletic striker picked out McCarthy in the box and the Porto striker managed to find Steven Pienaar with a pass that looked more like it was intended to be a shot.

The chances came thick and fast for the home side after this as they ripped holes into the Burkina defence, with Pienaar finding acres of space down the right flank and Bartlett providing a number of quality balls.

The Ajax Amsterdam player delivered a number of dangerous balls into the box, but each time he just failed to pick out a team-mate.

In the 29th minute Bradley Carnell did well to snuff out a rare Burkina Faso attack when he dispossessed Moumouni Dagano inside his own box - a move which typified the excellent form shown by the back four on the afternoon.

Goalkeeper Hans Vonk also had a solid game - although he was not called on to do much, he was quick to react whenever needed, and instilled confidence in the defensive unit with an authoritive display.

In the 42nd minute the ball fell to Vilakazi inside the box and his goal-bound shot took a deflection before falling to Bartlett, who failed to put the ball over the line from only a metre out.

The ball fell to Zwane, who crossed it back into the box, where Bartlett was on hand to score with a brave low diving header.

The second half was not nearly as impressive from a Bafana Bafana point of view as Burkina Faso came back into the game, although they rarely threatened to score.

In the 48th minute Vilakazi had a good chance to score, but fired into the side-netting after playing a neat one-two with Pienaar.

Ten minutes later the hosts had their best chance of the game when a long ball straight from the keeper found Dagano, who held off his former Germinal Beerschot team-mate Aaron Mokoena, but then blasted well wide of target.

Bartlett again showed his commitment to the team, when in the space of a minute he twice put his body on the line for Bafana's cause.

South Africa had an excellent chance to improve their 'goals for' tally in the final minute of the game when substitue Elrio van Heerden burst through on goal, but the youngster pulled his shot wide of the target with only the goal keeper to beat.

With Uganda holding Ghana to a surprise 1-1 draw, South Africa move to the top of the log for the time being, although they could be overtaken later this evening when Cape Verde and the DRC play - a win for either of these two countries will see them go top, however a draw will see Bafana retain the top spot.

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