– South Africa stunned the hosts with a very exceptional performance –
The hosts did everything but could not find the back of the net –
The other group game also ended in a stalemate A very determined 10-man South Africa forced the star studded Brazilian Olympic team to a 0-0 draw. The visitors produced a heroic performance in the second half to secure a 0-0 draw with the hosts in their opening Group A fixture of the Men’s Olympic Tournament at a packed Mane Garrincha Stadium.
Gabriel Barbosa of Brazil battles with Deolin Mekoa South Africa began the game on a very confident note, ensuring the hosts were not allowed to dominate possession as they created several scoring chances in the first 45 minutes, but somehow could not find the back of the net.
However, Brazil eventually got going and started to look dangerous in attack, but Itumeleng Khune was on hand to save from Neymar on two big occasions in the first half, and he would eventually produce a man-of-the-match performance. The very determined Africans gave their all in the game with Dolly, Gift Motupa and Menzi Masuku swaggered going forward, except for the snatching of a goal.
Mothiba had a great chance from Dolly’s inswinging corner-kick but failed to make proper contact unmarked at the near post. However, the game took a new turn in the 59th minute when Mothobi Mvala was shown a second yellow for a professional foul on Neymar, leaving his colleagues to an all-Brazilian 30 minutes attack. Down to 10 men, South Africa were now up against it as wave after wave of yellow attackers came at the defensive line.
Many thanks to goalkeeper Khune who was simply brilliant on the night making save after save, claiming crosses and coming out to intercept, the likes of Abbubaker Mobara, Deloin Mekoa, Erick Mathoho and Rivaldo Coetzee all played their part to keep the young Selecao at bay by putting their bodies on the line.
It ended Brazil 0-0 South Africa. The other fixture of Group A between Iraq and Denmark also ended 0-0. South Africa play their next game against Denmark on August 7, while hosts Brazil take-on Iraq a day after.