This qualification group is one of the closest of the 10 Groups in Africa qualifying. South Africa with 10 points going into their match against their neighbors Zimbabwe, led Group G by a point from Ghana. Ghana faced Ethiopia in the other match day 5 fixture. Here comes the interesting bit. FIFA certified this week that Ethiopia’s stadium is unsuitable to host qualification matches. Now the timing of it smells really rotten here. Both Zimbabwe and South Africa have already travelled to Addis Ababa for matches. I don’t want to say FIFA has a soft spot for Ghana but I am not saying they don’t either on evidence of this. To top it all the Ghana Ethiopia match was held in South Africa 3 hours before this one which ended up in a 1-1 draw. This raises a lot of eyebrows as the two matched should normally occur at the same time so as to not have collusion amongst all 4 teams in terms of results. So going into their match, Bafana Bafana knew the result they needed and so did Zimbabwe who had nothing to play for having already gone out of contention. What was to stop some neighborly love to be extended here.
Back to the match. Zimbabwe didn’t have a shot on target in the entire game in which they fielded a much changed team from the previous 4 games. No talismanic captain Knowledge Musona who has their only goal in these qualifiers but they welcome back Marvelous Nakamba of Aston Villa and South African based Khama Billiart who is their creative force. Dreadful marking led to the opening goal from SA. Olympic games sensation Teboho Mokoena with a pin point header from a Keegan Dolly peach of a cross for the winner. Dolly was at the heart of most of the South African attacks. To be honest if it wasn’t for Zimbabwe keeper Petros Mhari (world cup qualification debut) it would have been a lot more. Not a memorable clash by any means and had a feel of a friendly once the goal went in. So it is winner take all on Sunday in Ghana between the Black Stars and Bafana Bafana. Hopefully FIFA keep their hands off this one for a change.