Bafana drop points in first WCQ

SA National Teams

Bafana Bafana began their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying journey in Group G with a goalless draw against Zimbabwe on Friday afternoon.

A new look Bafana featured an attack that included Luther Singh, Percy Tau, Gift Links and Evidence Makgopa, while former Kaizer Chiefs star Knowledge Musona was joined in the attack by Khama Billiat,

Bafana could’ve gone in front from a short-corner seven minutes in, but Makgopa headed way beyond the far corner of goal following a floating ball in at the back-post.

The visitors launched another threat soon before the midway stage when a powerful shot from range by Teboho Mokoena forced goalkeeper Talbert Shumba to emphatically palm for a corner.

Zimbabwe began to show up on the half-hour mark and a superb strike from a tight angle by Khama Billiat brought Ronwen Williams to a stunning save, which proved to be their only effort of the half.

With Bafana bringing on Bongokuhle Hlongwane for Links at the restart, the Warriors targeted the breakthrough minutes from resumption after Billiat hoofed a first-time volley from range.

The Warriors continued to unsettle the visiting nation later on and looked certain to go ahead through a curling strike from out wide by Knowledge Musona, but Nyiko Mobbie blocked away.

Bafana did regain momentum midway following the second period and threatened the opener after Hlongwane’s shot from a tight angle posed difficulty for Shumba who needed a goal-line clearance.

Tau’s first sight to goal came from a low left-footed curler on the far side of the area in the latter minutes, which Shumba was able to parry away.

There weren't many chances either side in the closing stages, with the nations settling for a share of the spoils.

Confirmed line ups:

Zimbabwe: Shumba, Lunga, Chimwemwe, Mudimu, Bhasera, Kamusoko, Munetsi, Mahachi, Billiat, Kadewere, Musona.

Subs: Arubi, Madhananga, Mapisa, Murwira, Moyo, Rusike, Dzvukamanja, Fabisch, Wadi, Songani, Stima, Chikwende.

Bafana: Williams, Morena, De Reuck , Xulu, Mobbie, Mvala, Mokoena, Tau, Links, Singh, Makgopa

Subs: Mothwa, Bvuma, Blom, Dube, Ngcobo, Brooks, Maart, Mbule, Hlongwane, Letsoalo.