Bafana Bafana 3-1 Zimbabwe

Bafana Bafana reignited their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with a decisive 3-1 victory against Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday night.

Following a draw against Nigeria a few days earlier, South Africa needed a strong performance to get back on track.

The match started with a bang as Bafana Bafana’s Iqraam Rayners capitalized on a defensive error by Zimbabwe, scoring the opening goal within the first 30 seconds. However, Zimbabwe quickly equalized when Tawanda Chirewa took advantage of a quick throw-in, catching the South African defense off guard.

Despite Bafana Bafana’s efforts to regain the lead, Zimbabwe’s defense remained resolute. Warriors’ goalkeeper Godfrey Chitsumba made several key saves, keeping the score level at 1-1 as the teams headed into halftime.

Both teams made strategic changes in the second half to push for a win. South African coach Hugo Broos substituted Elias Mokwana for Thapelo Morena, aiming to exploit Zimbabwe’s right flank. The Mamelodi Sundowns right-back had an immediate impact, increasing pressure on the visitors. Just nine minutes after entering the field, Morena scored from close range after a mistake by Chitsumba.

Bafana Bafana’s Oswin Appollis delivered a crucial cross that Chitsumba failed to clear, allowing Morena to capitalize and put South Africa ahead. Broos’ team managed the game well from that point, and in the 76th minute, Morena added his second goal. A precise 40-yard pass from Mokoena found Morena, who skillfully rounded Chitsumba to secure a 3-1 victory.

With this win, South Africa tops Group C alongside Benin and Rwanda. Zimbabwe remains at the bottom of the group, while Bafana Bafana is joint first with two wins from four matches.

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