Morena brace puts Bafana Bafana joint top of World Cup qualifying group

Morena brace puts Bafana Bafana joint top of World Cup qualifying group

Thapelo Morena came off the bench to score a second-half brace as Bafana Bafana beat Zimbabwe 3-1 in Bloemfontein to go joint top of their World Cup qualifying group.

It was the first South Africa international match in the City of Roses since the 2010 World Cup clash against France and the fans saw an explosive start to the contest as the Southern African neighbours exchanged goals in the opening two minutes.

Hugo Broos' charges took the lead after just 30 seconds through Iqraam Rayners, the Stellenbosch forward taking advantage of a mistake by defender Munashe Garananga before slotting the ball home.

It did not take long for Zimbabwe to find the equaliser as Tawanda Chirewa burst through a gaping hole in the Bafana defence to beat Ronwen Williams.

The raucous crowd at the Free State Stadium were certainly getting their money's worth in the opening exchanges as Zimbabwe gave as good as they got.

Bafana dominated possession for the majority of the first half and created a few opportunities with Rayners squandering a few.

Broos decided to withdraw Elias Mokwana at half-time and introduce Morena and it was an inspired choice from the Belgian tactician as the Mamelodi Sundowns player repaid the faith.

The winger put Bafana ahead ten minutes after the interval, finishing with a simple tap-in after Zimbabwe goalkeeper Godfrey Chitsumba made a mess of an Oswin Appollis cross.

The third goal was thing of beauty though as Appollis picked up the ball on the left, just inside his own half, and pinged a defence-splitting pass for Morena to run onto and the Sundowns man went around Chitsumba and applied the finish and send the crowd into delirium.

The home side then saw out the encounter and fulfilled a fruitful international break after claiming four points from two matches after a 1-1 draw in Nigeria last Friday.

Bafana are currently on seven points after fou matches in the group, level with Rwanda and Benin, with six matches of qualifying campaign still remaining.

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