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Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 12:05 UK

South Africa edge past Poland

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg

South Africa's Thembinkosi Fanteni
Thembinkosi Fanteni scored the only goal of the game against Poland

South Africa warmed up for the Confederations Cup when beating Poland 1-0 in Johannesburg in their final friendly before the tournament.

Thembinkosi Fanteni scored the only goal of the game after six minutes, although there was a suspicion of offside about his close-range finish.

After Steven Pienaar played a delightful pass inside Poland's right-back, Bernard Parker touched the ball to his right for Fanteni to pass into an empty net from six yards.

Deploying three defensive midfielders in a lopsided four-man midfield, South Africa often struggled to create - Teko Modise a notable absentee because of a hamstring problem.

Parker should have doubled the scoring just before the hour mark but he horribly failed to hit the target eight yards out when put clean by Fanteni, his strike partner.

Poland proved stubborn but limited opposition and coach Joel Santana will have been concerned to see Steven Pienaar hobble off - South Africa's star man pulling up when chasing a pass late on.

"I just got a knock on my ankle - that's all, it's nothing serious," a relaxed Pienaar told BBC Sport after the match.

"I'm happy with the result because we needed a win.

"We wanted to go into the Confederations Cup with confidence, which we will do now."

In a game which lacked spark but not atmosphere, Poland did have the ball in the net four minutes from time but Robert Lewandowski had long been flagged offside.

Otherwise, they largely failed to trouble goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, whose position as Bafana Bafana's number one will be more severely put to the test in the Confederations Cup.

South Africa will be buoyed by their second win in three matches against European opponents, yet their failure to extend their lead showed the side's limitations.

Thirteen minutes from time, three players had the chance to finish things off but Aaron Mokoena failed to connect from a corner before Macbeth Sibaya blasted straight at the defence seconds later only for Kagisho Dikgacio to then fire high and wide.

The 2010 World Cup hosts play Iraq on 14 June in the opening game of Group A at the Confederations Cup.

They will then play New Zealand and European Champions Spain.

Oceania champions, New Zealand, continued their build up with a 0-0 draw in Gaborone against Botswana on Saturday.

Co-hosts of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Equatorial Guinea, lost their friendly in Estonia 3-0.

Namibia easily beat the DR Congo 4-0, in a game that was delayed by two hours following an accident involving the Congolese team bus on the way from the airport.

Three players and an official were injured in the collision between their bus and a car, according to police, who did not name those involved.

When the game eventually got underway the Brave Warriors won easily thanks to two goals by Hani Isaccs and one each from Quinton Jacobs and Rudolf Bester.

In another friendly on Friday evening Sierra Leone were thrashed 6-0 by Syria in Damascus.

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see also
SA defeat Mauritius in friendly
30 May 09 |  African
South Africa lose Moriri
27 May 09 |  African
Pienaar targeting Bafana glory
08 Feb 09 |  African
South Africa earn last-gasp win
28 Mar 09 |  African

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