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Football | Bafana Bafana

Bernard Parker © Backpagepix

Bafana have fond memories of Norway



Bafana Bafana host Norway tonight with fond memories of the last time the Scandinavians were in the country.

Kickoff is at 8:30pm. Follow the action live on SS4 and SSHD4 as well as live streaming at supersport.com.

The match at the Cape Town Stadium is the penultimate warm-up game for South Africa ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and will provide coach Gordon Igesund with a useful test of where his side is in their preparations.

It is also a chance to protect a 100 per cent home record against Norway, albeit that they have only met on these shores once before, with another meeting in Oslo as well.

The first match between the sides came just months prior to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup when Bafana triumphed 2-1 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace under then coach Joel Santana. It was a rare highlight for him.

Bernard Parker gave the home side the early lead, part of a rich vein of form that had seen him net his fifth goal in the previous six internationals.

But Norway were level when Morten Gamst Pedersen’s free-kick deflected off Steven Pienaar, leaving Itumeleng Khune wrong-footed for the equaliser.

It looked as though it would remain 1-1 until Siphiwe Tshabalala served up one of his special moments in a Bafana shirt, smashing the ball home from the edge of the box with just a minute of normal time remaining.

Six players remain in the Bafana squad from those that made it onto the pitch that day, with Khune, Parker, Siboniso Gaxa and Tsepo Masilela starting, while Tshabalala and Katlego Mphela were late substitutes.

Norway got their revenge just seven months later when the teams met in another friendly in October 2009, this time in Oslo.

The Norwegians triumphed 1-0 thanks to a goal from centre-back Kjetil Waehler to signal what would be the end of Santana’s ill-fated rein. He led the side in just one more match on that Scandinavian tour, a 1-0 loss in Iceland, before compatriot Carlos Alberto Parreira returned to take over from him.

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