South Africa 1-0 Namibia
Al Salaam Stadium, Cairo
South Africa registered their first victory at the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nation on Friday night as they defeated COSAFA rivals Namibia 1-0.
Bongani Zungu scored the only goal of the game played at Al Salaam Stadium in Cairo, heading past the impressive Lloyd Kazapua in the second half.
The goal was Bafana Bafana’s first in the competition, having lost 0-1 to Ivory Coast in the opening game.
Moments earlier, Deon Kavendji’s close range effort was cleared off the line for Namibia in the fiercely contested encounter between the two South African nations Cairo.
South Africa looked slightly the better side but just like against the Elephants last week, struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the game.
They now have a chance to seal a knockout stages when they take on the laready qualified Morocco on Monday.
Bafana Bafana’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Themba Zwane but he fired straight at Kazapua.
Namibia moved the ball with greater urgency and Kavendji’s pace was a threat down the left but his final ball was lucking as neither of his teammates could apply the telling touch.
For most spells, the game looked to be destined for a goalless stalemate but knowing that they were on the verge of elimination, Bafana Bafana improved as the contest wore on.
The goal would eventually come on 68 minutes as Zwane headed Zungu’s corner into the roof.
As South Africa struggled, Brighton’s Percy Tau was the only man who looked to be trying and it was he who forces the corner from which his side won the game.
Stuart Baxter’s side know that they need to improve if they are to make it further in the competition.
The game against Morocco may not be as difficult as earlier anticipated as the North African side are expected to take it easy, after sealing a spot in the last 16 following the 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast on Friday.
Namibia still have an outside chance of automatic qualification themselves, but they will need to score their first tournament goal since 2008 to beat Ivory Coast, and hope group leaders Morocco beat South Africa by more than one goal.
The other results on Friday
-Tunisia 1-1 Mali
-Morocco 1-0 Ivory Coast
-Mauritani vs Angola @5:30pm
-Cameroon vs Ghana @8pm
-Benin vs Guinea-Bissau @11pm