Bafana click for easy win over Zim

A much improved second-half showing earned 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa a 3-0 win over Zimbabwe on Wednesday in their first friendly match of the year.

Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala put Bafana Bafana ahead by scoring directly from a 50th-minute free-kick, and late goals from substitute Thulasizwe Mbuyane and defender Lucas Thwala sealed the success.

An all-local South African squad has been camping in Durban since mid-January, and this ultimately comfortable victory followed a 6-2 training-match rout of Swaziland last Saturday.

While the goal flow has come against opponents nowhere near the strength of World Cup Group A rivals Mexico, Uruguay and France, it will boost confidence after Bafana managed just 10 in 18 games last year.

“I am happy with the result after the team prepared well for the match,” said coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who returned for a second spell in charge last November after fellow Brazilian Joel Santana was sacked.


“The team did not play well in the first half, making far too many mistakes and giving the ball away needlessly, but we got our act together after halftime to win impressively.

“We applied pressure, marked tighter and prevented Zimbabwe building from the back. Now the players must learn to retain possession better and cut out silly errors,” said the 1994 Brazil World Cup-winning coach.

Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwa, who captained his country in their first international appearance after independence 30 years ago, said he was building for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers starting later this year.

“After doing very well in the first half, we conceded two stupid goals, and let us hope the youngsters in the team learn. I believe we will have a strong side after the Europe-based stars are included,” he said.

When Tshabalala was fouled outside the penalty area he took the free-kick and beat goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini with a curling shot over the wall and into the corner of the net.

South Africa stretched the Zimbabwe defence across the pitch before defender Siboniso Gaxa crossed for Mbuyane to score the second with an unstoppable near-post header on 77 minutes.

Having made five second-half changes, Bafana Bafana completed the scoring one minute into stoppage time when a complex corner routine concluded with a cross that Thwala rose to meet to steer under the body of Kapini. – AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Big retailers need to step up to the plate

To stave off a multi-generational malnutrition crisis, the food industry must work with government to provide highly nutritious foods at cost during the pandemic

Crime stats mark a bitter start to Women’s Month

We must celebrate women’s achievements this month while agitating for structural change, argues Luke Waltham

South Africa prioritises fossil fuels over clean energy in post-Covid-19 recovery packages

The country is among the G20 countries who have invested in electricity produced from coal, oil and gas at the cost of addressing climate change

Challenges and opportunities for telemedicine in Africa

Telemedicine in Africa is currently limited by the availability of basic infrastructure, but, considering the lack of doctors in rural areas, it is a vital component in addressing the continent’s healthcare needs

Fight the disease of corruption in the same way we fight the coronavirus

Gogo Dlamini, Themba Dlamini’s mother, died of Covid-19, but Mzanzi has a chance to rid the country of fraud and exploitation and instead serve ‘Gogo Dlamini’, the people of South Africa

This time it’s different: African economies may not survive

Amid the headwinds created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time the Aloe ferox, which survives in dry, harsh conditions, is nurtured — but the options are limited
Advertising

Jailed journalist a symbol of a disillusioned Zimbabwe

Hopewell Chin’ono backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he succeeded Robert Mugabe. Now he’s in jail

Sisulu axes another water board

Umgeni Water’s board in KwaZulu-Natal was appointed irregularly by her predecessor, the water and sanitation minister claims
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday