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South Africa leave it late to pick match day two win



South Africa scored in the last 10 minutes of the game to defeat Ghana Black Stars 1-0 in a Group G World Cup qualifying match in Johannesburg on Monday.

At the FNB Stadium, Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored with seven minutes remaining to take Bafana Bafana  top of Group G with four points, having picked a point in the 0-0 draw against Zimbabwe on match day one.

Hlongwane simply adjusted his foot to direct the ball into the net from inside the six yard box after a cross from the right. It was a bright spark for Bafana and a huge relief to pick a win at home and hand coach Hugo Broos his first victory as the head coach.

It wasn’t a game with so many chances, but the home side will take the victory nonetheless.

They had a chance early in the game when Richard Ofori who plays his club football in South Africa with Orlando Pirates spilled a cross from Teboho Mokoena after an akward bounce infront of him. The rebound fell on Mothobi Mvala but he couldn’t hit the target on the half volley.

Percy Tau thought he had given Bafana the lead in the 37th minute but his header from a cross which beat keeper Ofori was flagged down for offside.


South Africa had a brilliant chance to break the deadlock in the 46th minute but Evidence Makgopa missed a complete sitter. Ofori who seemed to be struggling with injury let a seemingly harmless ball from Mokoena slip through his legs, but with the goalmouth at his mercy from two yards out, Makgopa connected wide.

South Africa sought to make amends and came close after 66 minutes when Mavala controlled the ball inside the box from Hlongwane’s cross before going for an acrobatic kick, but it hit the side netting.

They kept pushing and ultimately rewarded with a goal in the 83rd minute.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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