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South Africa stay top of WCQ Group G with win over Zimbabwe

A Teboho Mokoena header was all South Africa needed in their 1-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying defeat of Zimbabwe on Thursday, keeping Bafana Bafana in first place in Group G heading into their final fixture at Ghana. The result puts South Africa at 13 points with Ghana trailing on 10, but the Black Stars are very much still in contention with a win for Ghana on the final day being enough for them to overtake South Africa and win the group.

The matchup between regional rivals South Africa and Zimbabwe featured few opportunities over the course of 90 minutes, but South Africa dominated with their youthful and energetic approach keeping the ball mostly in the Zimbabwean half. In-form Kaizer Chiefs playmaker Keagan Dolly made his first start under manager Hugo Broos and made a substantial impact. In the 26th minute, it was Dolly who received the ball on the right flank with plenty of room to operate. Dolly sent in a curling cross that found SuperSport United’s Mokoena, who rose highest to send a precise header inside the far post.

A long spell followed Mokoena’s opener where neither team really threatened. Zimbabwe, with a heavily rotated squad, labored to get star Khama Billiat involved and striker David Moyo worked hard without receiving proper service. When opportunities started to arise again in the second half, it was almost exclusively South African chances. In the 63rd minute, Fagrie Lakay maneuvered on the edge of the Zimbabwe area before laying back to Dolly for a curled shot that was tipped over by Warriors keeper Petros Mhari, before the FC Platinum shot stopper was called into action again soon after when he tipped over a Thibang Phete header.

A few more chances fell South Africa’s way in the final ten minutes, but the Zimbabwe defense was able to keep the score close. However, the visitors were lacking in the attacking department throughout the match and failed to provide much suspense as Bafana held out for the 1-0 victory.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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