Bafana stumble in Harare
Harare - South Africa suffered their first defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe since 2003, going down 2-1 in an international friendly at the Rufaro Stadium here on Tuesday night.
A second half brace from former Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona proved to be the undoing of Pitso Mosimane’s inexperienced team, who led the match 1-0 at halftime thanks to a debut goal from Bradley Grobler.
After a fairly strong opening 20 minutes from Zimbabwe - which saw the hosts use their flanks to good effect - Bafana gradually began to asset themselves in midfield thanks to fine play from the likes of Hlompho Kekana, Oupa Manyisa and Thanduyise Khuboni.
And after 29 minutes the visitors took the lead - a pass from Teko Modise found its way through to the feet of Bradley Grobler, who coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini to mark his national team debut with a goal.
It could have been 2-0 just three minutes later: a route-one ball was poorly dealt with by the Warriors’ defence and Kermit Erasmus was able to get away a shot from inside the 18-yard area, but this time Kapini came up with a sharp save to deny the SuperSport United striker.
Zimbabwe created a couple of half chances of their own, with the lively Knowledge Musona always looking likely to capitalise on any lapse in defence, but Bafana Bafana were able to retain their lead up to the halftime break.
However, it took just seven minutes of the second half for Musona - the PSL’s leading goal scorer with Kaizer Chiefs last season - to level the scores at 1-1. He headed home a fantastic cross from right-back Tapiwa Khumbuyani.
And just past the hour mark Musona grabbed his second of the night to make it 2-1 after 62 minutes. The striker stole the ball off centre-back Bevan Fransman and beat Moeneeb Josephs with a low shot just inside the near post.
The Warriors had further opportunities to add to their score, while Bafana, apart from one effort by Modise that forced a decent save from Kapini, were unable to really trouble the home side’s defence in the second half.
Zimbabwe (0) 2 (Musona 53’ 61’)
South Africa (1) 1 (Grobler 29’)
Zimbabwe: Kapini; Khumbuyani, Zvasiya, Sweswe, Jambo, Katsande, Nengomasha (Zhuwawo 68’), Karuru, Billiat (Mukamba 71’), Malajila, Musona (Mapemba 88’)
South Africa: Josephs; Jele, Fransman, Gould, Masenamela, Manyisa (Claasen 66’), Khuboni, Kekana (Maluleka 89’), Modise, Erasmus (Nontshinga 69’), Grobler (Lebese 86’)
(Home teams listed first)
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Africa, first round, second leg (home team listed first):
Burundi 2 Lesotho 1 - 2-2 on aggregate; Lesotho advances on away goals
Congo 5 Swaziland 1 - Congo advances 8-2 on aggregate
Kenya 4 Seychelles 0 - Kenya advances 7-0 on aggregate
Madagascar 2 Equatorial Guinea 1 - Equatorial Guinea advances 3-2 on aggregate
Republic of Congo 1 Sao Tome e Principe 1 - Republic of Congo advances 6-1 on aggregate
Mozambique 4 Comoros 1 - Mozambique advances 5-1 on aggregate
Namibia 4 Djibouti 0 - Namibia advances 8-0 on aggregate
Rwanda 3 Eritrea 1 - Rwanda advances 4-2 on aggregate
Tanzania 0 Chad 1 - 2-2 on aggregate; Tanzania advances on away goals
Togo 1 Guinea-Bissau 0 - Togo advances 2-1 on aggregate
Algeria vs. Cameroon, cancelled due to Cameroon players' strike
Ghana 2 Gabon 1
Guinea 1 Burkina Faso 1
Niger 1 Botswana 1
Nigeria 2 Zambia 0
Belarus 1 Libya 1