Bafana Bafana wins away match beat Ethiopia 3-1, Senegal beat Namibia 4-1.

South Africa claimed a key win in Group G of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, defeating hosts Ethiopia 3-1 at the Bahir Dar Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The result – which was secured by goals from Teboho Mokoena, Mothobi Mvala and Evidence Makgopa, as well as an excellent goalkeeping showing from Ronwen Williams – sees Bafana Bafana top the log with seven points, four ahead of Ghana (who have a game in hand against bottom-of-the-log Zimbabwe later today) and the Walia Ibex.

South Africa started strongly and almost forced a goal in the opening minutes, with a scrum in the penalty area ending with the ball rebounding just wide of the mark. A crucial victory for Bafana Bafana as they top group G with 7 points!

On nine minutes a Bafana free kick whipped into the penalty area found Tshegofatso Mabasa, but the Orlando Pirates striker was stretching to get his head onto the ball and couldn’t direct an effort on target.

Ethiopia slowly settled into the game and began to threaten on transition, with SA goalkeeper Ronwen Williams forced to come quickly off his line to prevent Getaneh Kebede getting in on goal around the midway point of the first half.

On 26 minutes Walia Ibex midfielder Surafel Dagnachew let fly with a fine effort from long range, but Williams was able to tip the ball over for a corner kick.

Just past the half-hour mark South Africa threatened again through a fine run and shot from Thabiso Kutumela which flashed just wide of the mark, before Mabasa made way a few minutes later to allow the introduction of Victor Letsoalo off the bench.

The best chances of the first half both went the way of Ethiopia’s Abubeker Ahmed between 35 and 40 minutes, who twice managed to slip in behind Bafana Bafana’s defence, but Williams made superb one-on-one saves to keep the score at 0-0.

THIRD GOAL IN INJURY TIME

While Williams was excellent at one end, Ethiopia’s Fasil Gebremichael gifted the visiting team the opening goal on the strike of half time.

A Teboho Mokoena free kick was struck on target but should have been easily saved; instead the ‘keeper somehow fumbled the ball into the net to see Bafana 1-0 up at the interval.

Ethiopia pushed for an equaliser early in the second half, with Dagnachew once again threatening from long range with a shot which flew just wide of Williams’s right-hand post on 55 minutes.

The leveller arrived midway through the second half, with Kebede striking a beautiful shot direct from a free kick just outside the penalty area. The former Bidvest Wits striker’s effort found the top corner on 67 minutes and gave Williams no chance.

Parity lasted less than five minutes, with South Africa reclaiming the lead on 72 minutes: a long throw-in was accidentally flicked on by Kebede in his own penalty area, with Mvala arriving to meet the ball and sweep home a low shot for 2-1.

A third Bafana goal was inches away in the 80th minute, with substitute Evidence Makgopa beating the ‘keeper to a cross from the right, but his glancing header rebounded off the crossbar.

Yet the lanky striker made it 3-1 early in injury time, providing a lovely lobbed finish over the advancing ‘keeper to seal a potentially crucial win for Bafana Bafana.

The teams will meet in the reverse fixture at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 12 October.

Ethiopia (0) 1 (Kebede 67’) South Africa (1) 3 (Mokoena/F. Gebremichael og 45+1’, Mvala 72’, Makgopa 90+1’)

Ghana Black Stars in the same group G, trounced Zimbawe 3-1 in Accra with goals from Mohammed Kudus (8’), Thomas (66’) and Andre Ayew (87’) while Knowledge Musona scored from penalty spot in 49’ for Zimbabwe.

South Africa tops the group with 7points; Ghana has 6 points and is second, Ethiopia with a win has 3 points and is 3rd on the table and Zimbabwe is 4th with only one point got from a drawn game.

In Group H, the Teranga Lions of Senegal devoured the visiting Namibian team 4-1. Goals were from Idrissa Gueye (10’), Famara Diedhlou (38’), Skipper Sadio Mane (55’) and Keita Balde (83’) while the lone goal for Namibia was scored by Joslin Kaktuka (75’).

In the other match of Group H, the Hawks of Togo playing in Lome could not fly as it played 1-1 with Congo. Alaixys Romao of Togo scored an own goal while Euloge Fessou equalized for Togo in 56’. Fernand Mayembo of Congo saw red in the match.

Senegal has full 9 points, Namibia is 2nd in that group with 4 points, Congo with 2 points is 3rd and with only one point Togo is 4th.

In group I, the Atlas Lion of Morocco maintained group lead smacking Guinea Bissau 3-0. Ayoub El Kaabi got a brace (10’ and 70’) with Aymen Barkok goal in 20th minute.

Guinea hosting Sudan played 2-2 with all goals in the 2nd half. Jose Kante scored for Guinea 48th minute and Ahmed Mahmoud equalized 64th minute. Then Nigerian born Mohammed Bayo put Guinea ahead in the 67th minute only for Amir Kamal of Sudan to kill the Junta government joy with an equalizer two minutes to regulation time.

Morocco tops the table in Group I with 9 points, Guinea Bissau has 4 points to place 2nd, Military led country of Guinea has 3 points and Sudan is 4th with 2 points.

The Super Eagles landed in Cameroun on Saturday for the return match with Wild Beasts of Central Africa Republic that slapped them 1-0 on Thursday in Lagos.

Fixtures for Sunday 10th October

Grp B: Zambia v Equatorial 1700 hrs; Mauritania v Tunisia 2000 Hrs.

Grp C: Central Africa Republic v Nigeria 1400 hrs; Cape Verde v Liberia 1700 hrs.

Grp E: Kenya v Mali 1400 hrs; Uganda v Rwanda 1400hrs.

Grp J: Benin v Tanzania 1400 hrs; Madagascar v DR Congo 1700 hrs

Fixtures for Monday 11th October

Grp A: Burkina Faso v Djibouti 1700 hrs

Grp D: Mozambique v Cameroon 1400 hrs; Ivory Coast v Malawi 1700 hrs.

Grp F: Gabon v Angola 1400 hrs; Libya v Egypt 2000 hrs.

Fixtures for Tuesday 12th October

Grp A: Niger v Algeria 1700 hrs

Grp G: Zimbabwe v Ghana 1400 hrs; South Africa v Ethiopia 1700 hrs

Grp H; Namibia v Senegal 1400 hrs; Congo v Togo 1700 hrs.

Grp I: Guinea v Morocco 2000 hrs.

- Eniola Olatunji reporting.


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