THE Warriors’ winless run in the ongoing 2022 World Cup qualifiers continues after losing to neighbours South Africa in their penultimate Group G encounter at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday evening.
A 26th minute headed goal by midfielder Teboho Mokwena from a pinpoint cross by Keagan Dolly was all South Africa needed to secure an important win which leaves them on the cusp of reaching the playoff round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, who were buoyed by Ghana’s 1-1 draw to Ethiopia in the earlier game, cemented their position at the top of the log by stretching their lead at the top to 13 points.
In stark contrast, the result leaves Zimbabwe rooted to the bottom of the group with just one point from four matches ahead of their final match of the qualifiers against Ethiopia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Despite putting on a much-improved performance, the Warriors, who were missing the services of several senior players, were still unable to trouble the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams who enjoyed a quiet evening.
Zimbabwe had a positive start as they created the better half chances but it was South Africa who took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Teboho headed home a pinpoint cross from Dolly.
Dolly got too much space and time to pick out Mokoena with that cross
Zimbabwe also had their moments with David Moyo and Khama Billiat both having opportunities to test the South Africa goalkeeper but they both lacked the composure at the crucial moment.
Zimbabwe also had another good chance in the 67th minute when Ishmael Wadi headed Khama Billiat’s corner just wide.
Goalkeeper Petros Mhari pulled off a couple of brilliant reflex saves towards the end to deny Dolly and Njabulo Ngcobo and ensure the Warriors did not lose by a wider margin.
South Africa held on for the win to remain top of Group G with 13 points, three ahead of second-placed Ghana with whom they face off in the final match in
The teams will wrap up their group stage campaign on Sunday 14 November, with SA away to Ghana in Cape Coast and Zimbabwe hosting Ethiopia in Harare.’
South Africa… . (1) 1
Zimbabwe… … (0) 0