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Bafana Bafana

Mokoena Fires Bafana To Victory

Bafana Bafana were victorious as they beat Zimbabwe 1-0 to go three points clear in World Cup qualifying Group G at the FNB Stadium on Thursday night.

Earlier in the day in the other Group G game, Ethiopia frustrated Ghana in 1-1 draw at the Orlando Stadium.

It was a steady opening fifteen minutes to the game for Bafana, who were making in-roads into Zimbabwe’s final third, but not getting shots off at goal.

In fact the first shot at goal came from Ishmael Wadi for Zimbabwe, but his long range attempt in the 15th minute was always going off target.

Percy Tau’s free kick in the 22nd minute caused a few problems, but Bruce Kangwa was able to punch clear.

Teboho Mokoena made it 1-0 to Bafana in the 26th minute. After a good swift build-up, Keagan Dolly delivered a good cross in from the right, and Mokoena raced in at the far post to head in.

Bafana were back in their opponent’s box a minute later, but this time Gerald Takwara was able to make a timeous tackle to deny Bongokuhle Hlongwane getting a shot off.

There were no further clear cut opportunities in the first half, and at half-time Mokoena’s goal separated the two teams.

Blessing Sarupinda gave Bafana a scare in the 49th minute as he found himself with the goal at his mercy, but he was in off-side position, and blasted his attempt from point blank range over the goal.

But it was Bafana who were managing the game, and Dolly tried a curling effort from just outside the box in the 63rd minute, but Kangwa managed to tip the goal bound shot over. Kangwa had to make another save from the resulting corner, this time denying Hlongwane.

A defensive slip up almost caused problems for Bafana in the 67th minute, but Zimbabwe weren’t able to take advantage, Khama Billiat’s cross-come-shot deflected behind. Wadi’s header from the corner that followed was always going off target.

Hlongwane blasted over in the 74th minute, as did Marvelous Nakamba at the other end three minutes later.

Dolly’s effort in the 82nd minute was deflected wide for a corner kick where Njabulo Ngcobo’s header went over.

Substitute Fagrie Lakay went just wide in the 88th minute, with a snap shot from just outside the area, while Hlongwane’s glancing header moments later was also off target.

Hlongwane went close in the 90th minute, but this time his long range effort struck the crossbar.

Another victory for Hugo Broos’s team, their fourth in these qualifiers to move onto 13 points, three ahead of Ghana, ahead of their match on the Cape Coast on Sunday.

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