Soccer: South Africa beats Norway 2-1

   

Photo: Paul Weaver.

Norway's coach Egil "Drillo" Olsen was disappointed with his team's performance. "We played a lousy game," he said. Photo: Paul Weaver.

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — South Africa beat Norway 2-1 to win the Nelson Mandela Challenge trophy courtesy of a 30-metre strike from substitute Siphiwe Tshabalala in stoppage time at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.

The teams were level 1-1 at half-time and although South Africa dominated the match, the Norwegians almost held out for the draw.

Tshabalala came off the bench in the 69th minute, replacing Mabhudi Khenyeza. The dreadlocked midfielder, who plays for Johannesburg’s Kaizer Chiefs club, saved his contribution to the game for the second of three minutes added on.

Despite a 2-0 defeat against Chile in their previous outing, South Africa produced a slick performance against Norway and took the lead in the seventh minute when defender Siboniso Gaxa pulled back a pass to Steven Pienaar just outside the six-yard box. Pienaar got a touch, but striker Bernard Parker finished the move with a toe-poke to beat Norway keeper Jon Knudsen.

The European side managed to soak up more pressure from the home side and drew level after 27 minutes, when a free kick by Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen deflected off Pienaar and past a wrong-footed Itumeleng Khune in the South Africa goal.

Buoyed by the equaliser, Norway adopted a defensive strategy that thwarted repeated South Africa attacks until Tshabalala’s breakthrough in added-on time.

Source: USA Today

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