SA u23s put five past Zimbabwe

SA National Teams

South Africa’s national under-23 side thumped Zimbabwe 5-0 in the first-leg of their U23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Friday night.

Head coach David Notoane pulled out a strong eleven for the first leg, with European-based attackers Lyle Foster and Luther Singh leading the line.

South Africa wasted no time going on the front-foot after Foster delivered a brilliant assist for Kobamelo Kodisang to finish comfortably 17 minutes gone.

Zimbabwe weren’t able to get into gear and their counterparts turned on the magic in the last ten minutes to the break as Foster set-up Singh who slammed the back of the net.

Teboho Mokoena worsened Zimbabwe’s cause five minutes later with their third goal following a powerful shot from outside the penalty area. The visitors therefore switched their line-up a minute to halftime, bringing in Clive Rupiya for Blessing Surupinda.

The second half hit off to a slow pace, though the Zimbabweans started throwing more bodies forward as Mutudza Juan went close with a long shot on 58 minutes.

However, Singh compounded Zimbabwe’s misery even more two minutes later as he fired home the game’s fourth following a well-taken shot inside the 18-yard area.

After providing two assists earlier in the first half, Foster joined the act six minutes later as he converted from Sipho Mbule’s delivery.

Injury forced Notoane to their second substitution in the final 18 minutes, as Liam Jordan replaced the prowling Singh.

Zimbabwe pushed for a consolation and away-goal as full-time dawned, but the South Africans pulled out all the stops for a healthy first-leg victory ahead of Sunday’s return-leg in Harare.