South Africa………………..(1) 2
The national men’s soccer team was on Sunday eliminated from the African Nations Championships (Chan) after falling to South Africa at Al Hilal Stadium in Khartoum.
South Africa progressed alongside West Africans Niger who qualified after beating Ghana 1-0.
Zimbabwe started the first half on a bright note with some methodical attack and it was no surprise when Norman Maroto struck just two minutes into the match.
The Gunners striker headed a cross from Qadr Amin from the right flank.
Archieford Gutu could have extended the lead for the Warriors three minutes later after a receiving a clean pass in the centre from Denver Mukamba but his effort missed the target by a few inches.
Madinda Ndlovu named an almost unchanged side from the one that beat Ghana 1-0 last Wednesday with Zephania Ngodzo coming in for Gilbert Mapemba, the only change in the Warriors line-up.
Mukamba also came close to scoring when he roasted a defender on the edge of the box but his curling effort rattled the upright as the Warriors pressed forward.
Sensing danger, the South African technical team made a tactical substitution in the 25th minute, replacing the ineffective Ceriel Khubeka and bringing on striker Bheki Shabangu and the move paid off.
Shabangu was seven minutes old in the match when he headed past goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
The striker took advantage of some sloppy defending by the Warriors rearguard who failed clear a cross from the right allowing Shabangu to equalise for the South Africans.
The South Africans came back a better side in the second half and were duly rewarded in the 62nd minute when Kenneth Mthimkulu poked in from close range after a goalmouth mêlée.
For the second time the defence was caught napping when they failed to deal with a cross from the right and Mthimkulu was the first to react, blasting past Arubi.
W Arubi, Z Ngodzo (B Ncube 81st min), Q Amin, G Zhokinyi, N Mukumbi, B Mapfumo, E Mudzingwa, J Ngodzo (C Kawinga 60th min), D Mukamba
(C Sibanda 60th min), A Gutu,
J Mokhasi, C Mashego, H Khoza, S Leping, A Mkhwananzi (C Zimba 81st min) , V Shongwe, K Mthimkulu, T Mabunda, C Khubeka (B Shabangu 25th min), K Nkosi, M Shongwe
(E Kunene 72nd min)