Warriors slay Bafana

JOHANNESBURG - An unstoppable second-half strike by Knowledge Musona and a goal by Cuthbert Malajila allowed for Zimbabwe to record a 2-1 victory over South Africa in a friendly match at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Ian Gorowa’s men dominated large portions of the game to inflict a surprise defeat on Bafana Bafana on home soil despite Bernard Paker hitting a late goal in stoppage time.

South Africa came into the game fresh off a morale boosting 4-1 victory over Botswana at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and Gordon Igesund was adamant to continue on that run.

The line-up brought about a significant amount of changes from the team which lined up in Durban with goalkeeper Darren Keet and striker Siphelele Mthembu making their debut for Bafana.

Zimbabwe had an opportunity to open the scoring as early as the third minute when Kingston Nkhata set up Knowledge Musona on goal. The Smiling Assasin however fired over from close range.

The Warriors were spreading play nicely across the park, but they were left having to make some last ditch defending on a through ball to Mthembu inside the box, 17 minutes in.

Nkhatha tested Keet just before the half hour mark, but the KV Kortrijk goalkeeper gathered with ease.

It took Bafana 36 minutes before they could produce their most promising run of attack into the box, however, the string of passes towards Bernard Parker was eventually closed down for a corner. Reneilwe Letsholonyane, David Mathebula and Bongani Zungu all combining well down the centre of the park.

Khama Billiat concluded the half with his free-kick into the box and it was well defended by Buhle Mkhwanazi as his save sent the teams into the tunnel with the score still goalless.

Igesund decided on implementing more changes at the restart by bringing on Ruzaigh Gamildien and Lebogang Manyama for the second 45.

And it took Zimbabwe just five minutes into the second-half for them to deservingly grab the lead when Musona fired home an unstoppable volleyed effort into the roof of Keet’s net.

Keet denied the visitors from going 2-0 up just a minute later, when he rushed off his line to block Nkhata’s strike - with the Bafana defence in sixes and sevens.

Parker should have converted the equalizer for Bafana when he connected onto a cross just before the hour mark, but his diving header was sent narrowly wide of goal.

The balls started to fly into the box for South Africa and Zungu failed to direct his attempted volley on target, before things started to get heated on the field and there was a heavy change of words and shoves among the two teams.

With 15 minutes to go, Tsepo Masilela struck a beautiful curling effort towards the top right corner of Washington Arubi’s goal, but it went narrowly over.

Musona found the back of the net for the second time in the 80th minute, but it was ruled out for offside as Zimbabwe went on to add a second in stoppage time.

Cuthbert Malajila had the easiest of tap-ins to make after he latched onto Nkhatha’s pass, but Parker managed to secure a late consolation goal in the final minute of stoppage time. - SuperSport

South Africa: Keet, Mkhwanazi, Mathoho, Hlatshwayo, Masilela, Letsholonyane, Kekana, Zungu, Mathebula, Parker, Mthembu

Zimbabwe: Arubi, Nyadombo, Zvirekwi, Chindungwe, Bhasera, Katsande, Phiri, Billiat, Musona, Mukamba, Nkhatha.

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