Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeBafana BafanaBafana Hammer Zim To Blow Group C Wide Open

Bafana Hammer Zim To Blow Group C Wide Open

Bafana Bafana put a stubborn Zimbabwe side to the sword with a 3-1 scoreline in their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers’ tie played at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday evening.

It took just 30 seconds for the hosts to break the deadlock as Iqraam Rayners pounced on a defensive error from Zimbabwe to slot pass Godfrey Chitsumba and give Bafana a 1-0 lead.

South Africa’s celebrations were however short-lived as Zimbabwe equalized in the second minute through Tawanda Chirewa who pierced Bafana’s defence and beat Ronwen Williams at the near post.

Rayners then missed a chance to grab his brace in the ninth minute, fluffing a goalmouth shot before the Warriors made a clearance.

Oswin Appollis was next to try his luck with a ferocious shot in the 15th minute but Chitsumba produced a well-timed save to keep the scores unchanged.

Rayners again missed a huge chance to give the hosts the lead in the 23rd minute, missing a tap-in at the far post after being played in by Appollis.

Chirewa, in search of his second of the evening, tried his luck from a tight angle in the 35th minute but Williams was equally up to the task.

Bafana scored the second goal of the night through Rayners in the 37th minute, but the referee rightfully blew the whistle for an offside.

In the 42nd minute, Rayners was denied by a top save from Chitsumba who tipped his shot over for a corner kick.

Chirewa was a thorn for the Bafana defence and missed a curler in the 44th minute with Williams well beaten.

Aubrey Modiba couldn’t get the dip from a set-piece in the 45th minute, as both sides headed into the break deadlocked at 1-1.

Zimbabwe were first to get a shot on target in the 46th minute through Walter Musona’s free-kick but Williams made an easy save.

Substitute Thapelo Morena gave the hosts some breathing space, making it 2-1 with a tap in from close range in the 55th minute after Chitsumba misjudged the ball.

A deflected shot in the 65th minute from Teboho Mokoena wrong-footed Chitsumba in the Zim goal and out for a corner kick.

Morena grabbed his brace in the 76th minute after a defence-splitting pass from Mokoena to round Chitsumba and slot home, to make it 3-1.

It should’ve been 4-1 for the home side in the 82nd minute, but Appollis directed his shot at Chitsumba.

Hugo Broos’ charges saw out the game in the final 10 minutes to move level on points (7) with leaders Rwanda who narrowly beat Lesotho 1-0 in the other evening’s fixture.