Former Kaizer Chiefs striker, Knowledge Musona, netted twice as Zimbabwe came from behind to beat Bafana Bafana 2-1 in an international friendly at the artificial turf Rufaro Stadium in Harare on Tuesday evening.The second-string visitors had taken the lead in the match, going to the break 1-0 ahead courtesy of a strike from debutant forward Bradley Grobler in the 28th minute before Musona’s second-half brace in space of eight minutes.
Zimbabwe, with most of their players campaigning in the South African Premier Soccer League, had Musona heading in the equaliser in the 53rd minute from a Tapiwa Kumbuyani cross on the right hand side, which caught the visitors’ defence flat-footed.
Musona, now playing in the German Bundesliga, then doubled his tally having picked up on a mistake by defender Bevan Fransman, lazily playing a back pass, to easily slot past goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs for the winner after 61 minutes.
Bafana’s loss in their final match of the year marked an anti-climactic season for the team in the year that was marked by a credible first competitive victory over Egypt in March before the tragic elimination from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations last month.
Though, South Africa’s whirlwind trip to Harare had been a troubled one because of power failures at the venue that prevented them from their only training session the evening before, and was evident in the display in which they failed to stamp their authority despite carrying the early lead.
Bafana entered the fixture without nine regulars who were rested by coach Pitso Mosimane from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ivory Coast in Port Elizabeth, as he looked to field some fringe players.
While the experienced Fransman at the back and Teko Modise in midfield were the senior players in the starting eleven, they were not at their best in their return matches in the national jersey.
Even the introduction of the classy but inexperienced Daylon Claasen after the hour mark failed to spark the team or change the momentum of the game that was strongly tilting in the hosts’ favour.
Zimbabwe were sharper, especially in the game-changing second stanza with the enthusiastic nimble trio of Musona, Kumbuyani and Khama Billiat.
This was the Zimbabwean Warriors’ first win over their more esteemed neighbours since 2003, and fifth overall from 12 meetings since Bafana’s re-admission to international football 19 years ago.