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Bafana Held By Zimbabwe In Harare

Bafana Bafana were held to a goalless draw by Zimbabwe in their opening World Cup Group G Qualification game at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.

It was a steady start from both teams, as Hugo Broos took charge of his first game for Bafana, Evidence Makgopa getting a first chance in the 8th minute from a corner, but his header was always going over the goal.

Teboho Mokoena went close in the 17th minute with an excellent long range attempt, the best chance of the first half, but Tanunurwa Shumba, who recently signed for Free State Stars, made a good save to deny him.

Kudakwashe Mahachi had a chance for Zimbabwe in the 26th minute, but he shot wide of Ronwen Williams’ goal. On the half hour mark Khama Billiat had a good chance but Williams was able to get a slight touch to his shot and tip it over. Marshall Munetsi was off target a minute later.

Luther Singh’s cross come shot was easily dealt with by Shumba in the 38th minute, and at the halftime break it remained goalless.

There was an early scare for Zimbabwe three minutes into the second half, Shumba almost played a ball into the path of Percy Tau, but the goalkeeper was able to recover and clear.

Zimbabwe had two opportunities in the 62nd minute but shots from Alec Mudimu and Knowledge Musona were both blocked by Bafana’s defence.

Substitute Bongokuhle Hlongwane almost gave Bafana the lead in the 65th minute, but Shumba got a hand to his shot to slow it down and it was cleared off the line by Gilroy Chimwemwe. Another substitute Victor Letsoalo had a half chance, but was off target in the 74th minute.

Tau attempted a shot from just outside the box in the 77th minute, but Shumba got down to make the save. Makgopa shot wide two minutes later. Musona’s speculative free kick attempt in the 83rd minute went wide.

While Bafana pressed for a later winner, it wasn’t to be, and they will take the point on the road, and refocus ahead of their next game.

Bafana are back in action on Monday evening when they host Ghana at the FNB Stadium.

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