Bafana Bafana’s chances of AFCON qualification took a knock as they were held to a goalless draw at the Stade Linite by Seychelles on Tuesday.
The surface proved to be a tough challenge for Bafana, as they struggled to carve through the hosts’ defensive line despite dominating possession throughout the match.
The visitors were on the front foot as early as the second minute as they forced a corner through Lebohang Maboe, but failed to make the most of the delivery.
Seychelles showed much more attacking intent on their home turf and managed to get into the final third, before Nigel Nigel sent a shot wide of the mark in the 19th minute.
Midway through the half, Furman sent Tau through behind the defence but the forward’s cross was well cut out by goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall.
Ndlovu came close to opening the scoring but his left-footed effort from the edge of the area took a slight deflection to steer it away from the target.
Sifiso Hlanti had an opportunity from a free-kick in a promising position but the defender’s direct hit was watched over the crossbar by Dingwall.
Khune made his first save of the match as he was called to cut out a dangerous cross at his near-post, but needed two attempts to hold on as he faced pressure from two Seychelles attackers.
The second half saw a spirited effort from the home side as they continued to thwart the group leaders, who had chance after chance go abegging.
The best chance of the match fell to Lebogang Mothiba just two minutes after the restart as his effort from three yards out crashed onto the crossbar after some fine work down the left from Ndlovu.
Tau eventually had the ball in the back of the net in the 55th minute, but the nearside official ruled the goal out for off-side.
Stuart Baxter then threw on Aubrey Modiba in place of Lebohang Maboe just before the hour-mark, as he looked to add impetus to his attack.
10 minutes after coming on, the substition almost paid off but Modiba, who was clean through on goal, failed to hit the target with only Dingwall to beat after being fed through by Tau.
Bafana were almost made to regret their missed chances as Perry Monnaie beat the on-rushing Itumeleng Khune to the ball, but he was unable to lob the ball into an open net.
Tau once again came close to finding the all-important goal with 15 minutes to go, but Dingwall again was on hand to collect the strikers’ headed effort.
Bafana XI: Khune (GK), Mphahlele, Mkhwanazi, Hlatshwayo (C), Hlanti, Furman, Mokotjo, Maboe (Modiba 59′), Tau, Ndlovu, Mothiba.
Subs: Keet, Madisha, Maela, Mokoena, Kekana, Lorch, Modiba.
Seychelles XI: Dingwall (GK), Trevor, Nigel, Marie, Joubert, Waye-Hive, Bibi, C.Esther, B.Esther, Monnaie, Damoo.
Reports by Kickoff.com