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Qatar 2022 Qualifiers: South Africa, Mali, Benin Claim Victories

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Teboho Mokoena’s 26th minute goal handed South Africa a precious 1-0 victory against Zimbabwe as the Bafana Bafana inched closer to the play-off round of the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, while Mali and Benin also claimed victories in their encounter against Rwanda and Madagascar respectively.

With Ghana having earlier on been held to a 1-1 draw by Ethiopia at the Orlando Stadium, South Africa had fate dangling on their side just seven kilometres away at the First National Bank (FNB) Stadium as they needed to win to keep their hopes alive.

After a cagy start, they finally got the lead against their COSAFA region neighbours, as Mokoena nodded down the ball brilliantly across the face of goal to the far post off a well weighted Keegan Dolly cross from the right.

Bafana Bafana midfielder Teboho Mokoena (4) celebrates goal with teammates during Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier  against Zimbabwe

It was the closest and best chance from both sides in the opening 45. The pace of the game picked up midway through the second half and Zimbabwe keeper Petros Mhari was called to make two back to back saves to keep his side in the game.

He did well to tip over Dolly’s well taken shot before rising to do the same and deny Thibang Phete who had connected to a Percy Tau cross.

Zimbabwe’s best chance of the half and by far the game was in the 67th minute when Ishmael Wadi headed Khama Billiat’s corner just wide. South Africa held on for the win to remain top of Group G with 13 points, three ahead of second placed Ghana with whom they face off in the final match in Accra.

Elsewhere, Senegal left it late before scoring an additional time equaliser to play out to a 1-1 draw with Togo and remain unbeaten in the group round.

CAF World Cup qualifier results

Uganda 1-1 Kenya

Rwanda 0-3 Mali

Ethiopia 1-1 Ghana

South Africa 1-0 Zimbabwe

Congo 1-1 Namibia

Togo 1-1 Senegal

Tanzania 0-3 DR Congo

Benin 2-0 Madagascar

 

Chidi Nwoke/CAF.

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