Parker brace gets South Africa back on Confed Cup track

June 18th, 2009 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Rustenburg, South Africa, June 18 (DPA) Two goals from Bernard Parker helped South Africa beat New Zealand 2-0 Wednesday to give the host nation its opening victory at the Confederations Cup football.
Parker struck in each half to give Bafana Bafana the win at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, a result that moves South Africa second in Group A on four points, two behind qualified Spain, who beat Iraq 1-0 in the day’s earlier game.

The performance by Joel Santana’s team was much more fluid than the drab scoreless draw with Iraq in the tournament opener last Sunday, thanks in no small part to the return of Everton’s Steven Pienaar.

Although 10,000 free tickets were made available for the game with the All Whites, the stadium was still not full but the 36,598 who were present witnessed a South African side that attacked from the start.

Indeed, Thembinkosi Fanteni could have put South Africa in front as early as the second minute but he fluffed his shot while Teko Modise shot just wide two minutes later.

Pienaar was the next to threaten on 17 minutes but New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss comfortably saved his effort but Bafana Bafana finally got the goal they deserved when Tsepo Masilela set up Parker, who fired home a crisp shot from 10 metres.

Parker nearly netted his second of the game with a shot from the edge of the area on 32 minutes but Moss deflected his effort wide with his left foot.

However, Parker got the further goal his overall play deserved seven minutes into the second half in a virtual carbon copy of his first, which was set up by Pienaar and Masilela.

South Africa now go into Saturday’s game against Spain Saturday in Bloemfontein knowing a draw will be enough to book a place in the semi-finals.

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