Bafana take big step towards World Cup with win against Zim in Bloem

Broos had said anything less than a win would have been a huge setback for Bafana as he was aiming for four points from the two matches against Nigeria on Friday, where Bafana earned another impressive result with a 1-1 draw thanks to Themba Zwane’s delightful goal, and their neighbours.

Nigeria put their chances of qualifying in serious danger when they lost 2-1 to Benin on Monday, which followed three successive draws, two of those at home (against Bafana and, disastrously, in their opener against Lesotho).

Lesotho dropped to fourth place thanks to their 1-0 defeat to Rwanda at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday night.

With six matches to go before the end of this qualifying campaign, Broos will be satisfied with what Bafana have earned, especially given his team only have one match against Benin to still to play away from home, as both Zimbabwe and Lesotho are hosting their games in South Africa because their home grounds were not approved by the Confederation of African Football.

The win was a good one for Bafana, who have improved under Broos in recent months. South Africa won the bronze medal at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after being given no chance before the tournament as they had gone 24 years struggling to make an impact at the continental showpiece.

Bafana’s win over Zimbabwe came on the anniversary of their opening match of the 2010 World Cup against Mexico at FNB Stadium on June 11 2010, when Siphiwe Tshabalala scored a spectacular goal that is still raved about worldwide in a 1-1 draw.

That the crowd in Bloemfontein packed Free State Stadium and vociferously supported Bafana was largely due to their performances in recent months. It was also largely down to it having been 14 years since the national team last played at this venue when they beat France 2-0 in their final 2010 World Cup group game, which was also their last game of the tournament. 

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