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Bafana score confidence booster over Tunisia 18/08/04
Bafana Bafana earned themselves a confidence booster ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifying game against the DRC after they beat Tunisia 2-0 in a friendly at the Al Menzah Stadium on Wednesday night.

Bafana Bafana thoroghly deserved their win as they outplayed the hosts for most of the game and could easily have won by a bigger margin if Shaun Bartlett had brought his scoring boots along for the night.

Overall South Africa had the better of the first half and at times they showed some slick passing, although their finishing did not match their build-up play.

South Africa got off to a brilliant start when Delron Buckley dispossessed a defender and the ball fell to Benni McCarthy on the edge of the area, who scored with an excellently flighted chip over goal keeper Mohammed Zoubi.

Bartlett twice had good opportunities to increase the lead for the visitors when he was put clean through on goal, but his first effort screamed across the face of the goal and just wide of the left-hand upright, while Zoubi bravely put his body on the line to block the striker's second effort.

In the 24th minute Tunisia striker Kaies Ghodhbane came close to scoring when his powerful shot from outside of the box with the outside of his boot flew into the side-netting.

In the 36th minute Bennedict Vilakazi played a great through ball to Bartlett, but although the latter managed to get the ball past Zoubi, his shot was again just on the wrong side of the upright.

In the opening moments of the second half Vilakazi, who had a lively game, brought out the best in the home keeper with a well struck shot from 30-yards out.

The Tunisians were playing some neat football in the first 15 minutes of the second stanza, but the Bafana Bafana did well to limit them to speculative shots from outside the area.

In the 62nd minute Bartlett got himself on the end of a quality cross by substitute Elrio van Heerden, but as he stretched to reach the ball he was just not able to keep his shot under the crossbar.

Bartlett was certainly having his fair share of chances on the night and in the 80th minute he had another opportunity from inside the box, but on this occassion the Charlton Athletic striker flashed his left-footed shot wide of the post.

In the 82nd minute Tyren Arendse, who had just come on as a substitute to make his debut, got South Africa's second with a typically well struck dipping volley from the edge of the area.

The only blemish on a great performance from the visitors came in the 90th minute when Lance Davids was sent off for a rash challenge.

However, both the players and the technical staff can be pleased with a good night's work and the team's confidence will certianly be high ahead of their next crucial World Cup qualifying game.

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