Bafana Bafana registered a 1-0 win over Ethiopia to reclaim top spot in Group G of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday evening.
The home side awarded Evidence Makgopa a start for his goal off the bench in the 3-1 win on Saturday while Yusuf Maart and Njabulo Ngcobo were brought into the midfield.
Bafana continued from where they left off over the weekend after Getaneh Kebede helped Victor Letsoalo’s header from a corner-kick by Maart on ten minutes into his own net.
Going behind didn’t bother Ethiopia as former Bidvest Wits and AmaTuks man Kebede nearly amended the own-goal soon thereafter with two close-range shots in successions.
Those missed chances should’ve been punished by the host minutes later after a pacey move from the right-side by Bongokuhle Hlongwane end with a cross into Letsoalo, who hoofed over the crossbar.
Ethiopia responded with a change a few minutes before halftime as Amanuel Gebremichael was withdrawn and Abel Yarlew making a way in.
The visitors continued to apply the pressure as the start of the second half resumed, with Kebede close to the leveller from a shot that escaped the top-corner following a move from a tight angle.
The host missed out on a second in the opening ten minutes of the second stanza through Makgopa’s loose attempt in the area, which Hamid Suleman cleared off the goal-line.
The East African nation still fancied their chances as the overall encounter began to wind out, as a first-time volley at the back-post from Yarlew worried the home outfit.
Bafana weathered the Ethiopian storm with fulltime on the horizon to reclaim top spot in the group from Ghana who defeated Zimbabwe in the other clash in the group earlier in the day.
South Africa: Williams, Mobbie, Xulu, De Reuck, Mashego, Ngcobo, Maart, Hlongwane, Mokoena, Letsoalo, Makgopa.
Subs: Mothwa, Bvuma, Hlanti, Fleurs, Zuke, Blom, Donn, Brooks, Kutumela, Mabasa.