Zimbabwe . . . . (0) 2
South Africa . . . (1) 1
Knowledge Musona saved the Warriors the blushes of losing at home with an early second-half brace as Zimbabwe won the Limpopo Battle in an international friendly match played at Rufaro Stadium last night.
In 12 meetings, the South Africans have been victorious in six outings, the Warriors made it five last night while a single match has been drawn.
Bradley Grobler scored on his debut in the 28th minute before Musona struck in the 52nd and 60th minute to seal the Warriors’ victory.
Zimbabwe won their first corner after four minutes, but Bafana captain Morgan Gould and Oupa Manyisa made sure the danger was cleared before Khama Billiat was robbed of the ball in the box by some smarting defending two minutes later.
It was a cautious approach from both sides with South Africa seemingly settling well on the artificial turf as Manyisa, Kermit Erasmus and Thanduyise Khuboni made some beautiful exchanges.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe’s Billiat and Ovidy Karuru were initially bringing their crosses too close to Moeneeb Josephs’ goal.
Warriors goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini was forced to punch away a long Hlompho Kekana free-kick as the visitors launched their first serious attack after 10 minutes. But they were almost caught napping at the other end by Knowledge Musona who could not connect.
The Warriors were hunting again in the 23rd minute when Willard Katsande blasted wide after a build- up from the left wing involving Zhaimu Jambo, Billiat and Cuthbert Malajila, with the final pass falling to the Kaizer Chiefs man.
But the script went all wrong in the 28th minute when former South Africa Footballer of the year Modise showed his class with a sliced pass that central defender Lincoln Zvasiya somehow missed and Bradley Grobler easily slotted past goalkeeper Tapiwa Kapini to give the visitors the lead.
And they almost made it two three minutes later through Kermit Erasmus, but this time Kapini was more alert to smother the effort from inside the box.
The response from Zimbabwe was slow, with Billiat’s low cross going across the face of goal after finding no takers in the 36th minute.
At the other end, Kapini fumbled a swerving Modise free-kick. Billiat had the best chance to equalise a minute into first- half injury time, but slid the ball over after a feed from Musona.
Bevan Fransman almost put one past his own keeper in the 51st minute from a Tapiwa Khumbuyani cross as the half-time instruction from coach Norman Mapeza was clearly to secure an early goal.
But Musona came right 60 seconds later heading past Josephs from another Khumbuyani delivery from the right.
The Hoffenheim striker then capitalised on a defensive lapse from Fransman to beat Josephs at the near post.
Zimbabwe: T Kapini, T Khumbuyani, Z Jambo, L Zvasiya, T Sweswe, T Nengomasha ( R Zhuwawo 6th min), W Katsande, O Karuru (A Gutu 75th min), K Billiat (D Mukamba 70th min), K Musona ( G Mapemba 88th min) , C Malajila
South Africa: M Josephs, M Gould, H Jele, P Masenamela, B Fransman, Kekana ( G Maluleka 88th min), O Manyisa, T Khuboni, T Modise, K Erasmus (S Nontshinga 68th min), B Grobler (G Lebese 86th min)