Warriors-Bafana Bafana: A rivalry spanning over two decades

The Warriors go into battle against South Africa in a Group C World Cup qualifier at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein this evening.

Jairos Tapera’s troops will be seeking to bounce back from last Friday’s defeat to Lesotho, which left them anchoring the group.

Zimbabwe and South Africa has for years been an interesting fixture and here is how the two rivals have fared against each other over the years;

▪️They faced each other  in an AFCON qualifier at the National Sports Stadium in August 1992. The Warriors clobbered Bafana 4-1, thanks to goals from Peter Ndlovu (twice), the late Rahman Gumbo and Vitalis Takawira. Samuel Kambule scored the consolation for the visitors.

▪️The return leg at Soccer City in April 1993, ended 1-1 courtesy of goals from Benjamin Nkonjera and Marks Mapoyane.

▪️Zimbabwe and South Africa clashed again in a World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Stadium in July 2000. The match was abandoned in the 82nd minute due to crowd trouble with South Africa leading 2-0 courtesy of Delron Burkley’s brace. Police officers somewhat overreacted to fans throwing plastic bottles onto the field of play resulting in a stampede and 12 people died. July 9 is by an enormous distance, Zimbabwean football’s darkest hour.

▪️The two neighbours then played each other again in the semi-finals of 2000 COSAFA Cup. Kaitano Tembo’s bullet header propelled Zimbabwe to a 1-0 victory.

▪️They met again in a World Cup qualifier in May 2001 at Soccer City. Bafana Bafana won 2-1, with Benni McCarthy and Shaun Bartlet on the score sheet while Peter Ndlovu netted Zimbabwe’s consolation from the penalty spot.

▪️They clashed again in the COSAFA Cup quarterfinals in East London in 2003. The Warriors emerged victorious thanks to a Lazarus Muhoni’s solitary strike.

▪️The two rivals met again in September 2021, in a World Cup at the National Sports Stadium during the Zdravko Logarušić era and played out a goalless draw.

▪️The return fixture was played at Soccer City in November 2021, with the Warriors under the tutelage of Norman Mapeza.  Teboho Mokoena’s bullet header was the difference in a 1-0 loss for Zimbabwe.


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