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SAfrica hero Fanteni strikes terror into Poland

SoccerNews in World Cup 6 Jun 2009

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Hosts South Africa gained a morale-lifting win on Saturday ahead of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup as an early Terror Fanteni goal gave them a 1-0 victory over Poland in a friendly international at Orlando Stadium.

Fanteni slotted into an open goal after just six minutes after Bernard Parker’s scuffed shot had found a way past onrushing Polish goalkeeper Lukas Zaluska.

The scorer looked suspiciously offside as he tapped the ball into the net, but the goal stood, much to the disgust of Poland coach Leo Beenhakker.

It was a rare highlight in a mediocre encounter with few clearcut chances for either side.

Bafana coach Joel Santana went into the game without star midfielder Teko Modise, sidelined with a leg muscle injury.

And the Brazilian received a further potential blow with 15 minutes left when Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar limped from the field with a knock to his right ankle.

Santana hopes both will be fit when Bafana play the opening Confederations Cup match against Iraq on June 14 at Ellis Park.

This game showed Bafana look defensively organised going into the eight-nation dress rehearsal for the 2010 World Cup.

After Nasief Morris was ejected from the squad this week amid reports of ill-discipline, Matthew Booth lined up beside captain Aaron Mokoena in the heart of defence against Poland.

And Booth turned in an excellent display, providing last-ditch clearances to a number of Polish attacks.

Santana’s picked what looked a rather negative team for this match with three defensive midfielders in Kagiso Dikgacoi, Benson Mhlongo and MacBeth Sibaya.

But it took the side just six minutes to go in front. Pienaar’s excellent pass sent Parker clear, and his shot found its way to Fanteni, who tapped in at the back post.

Poland’s best chance of the opening period fell to midfielder Slawomir Peszko, whose shot was initially fumbled by Itumeleng Khune, but the goalkeeper reacted quickly to gather at the second attempt.

Fanteni shot over before a Pienaar free kick almost found the head of Booth at the back post.

Brazil-born striker Roger Guerreiro brought a good save out of Khune early in the second half before Fanteni put Parker clean through on goal, but his weak shot went wide.

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