SportsWorld Cup Qualifiers: South Africa Up To Joint-First After Beating Zimbabwe

World Cup Qualifiers: South Africa Up To Joint-First After Beating Zimbabwe

June 11, (THEWILL) – South Africa took a major step towards qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup by defeating Zimbabwe 3-1 in a Group C qualifier at the Free State Stadium on Tuesday evening. The victory sees Bafana Bafana move level on seven points with group leaders, Rwanda and Benin.

Thapelo Morena’s second-half brace proved decisive after a pulsating opening. Iqraam Rayners had given South Africa the lead inside the first minute, only for Tawanda Chirewa to equalise shortly after for the Warriors. The hosts dominated possession but had to wait until the 55th minute for the substitute Morena to bundle home the go-ahead goal.

Morena made it 3-1 in the 76th minute when he rounded the goalkeeper to slot into an empty net after a sublime through ball from Teboho Mokoena. South Africa pushed for more goals but had to settle for a two-goal victory margin in this crucial World Cup qualifier.


The result leaves Zimbabwe winless and bottom of the group on 2 points after three matches. Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana’s hopes of reaching a first World Cup since 2010 were boosted as they drew level with Rwanda and Benin ahead of back-to-back qualifiers against the joint-leaders next month.

Despite a nervy start that saw them pegged back at 1-1, South Africa grew into the game and will be pleased to have capitalised on home advantage against one of the group’s weaker sides. Head coach, Hugo Broos, will now prepare his team for two potentially decisive double-headers.

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