South Africa 1 Namibia 0: Zungu boosts Bafana Bafana’s AFCON qualification hopes

South Africa goalscorer Bongani Zungu

Namibia lost 1-0 for the second game running at the Africa Cup of Nations, with South Africa claiming their first points of Group D.

Bongani Zungu’s second-half header earned South Africa a 1-0 win against Namibia that boosts their hopes of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

Bafana Bafana were frustrated by Namibia for large periods at Al Salam Stadium on Friday but finally found a way through in the 68th minute.

Zungu nodded in a corner to ensure South Africa join Ivory Coast on three points after two games, though Morocco remain in control of Group D after claiming successive victories.

A low-quality first half was summed up by Petrus Shitembi dragging a poor shot wide of the target following a promising Namibia attack, while at the other end Hlompho Kekana was off the mark with an ambitious long-range effort.

Chances were also few and far between after the interval but Percy Tau should have done better after finding space in Namibia’s box, only firing a tame strike straight at Lloyd Kazapua.

Buhle Mkhwanazi cleared Deon Hotto’s effort off the line in the 65th minute as Namibia briefly threatened, but it was South Africa who clinched the points shortly after.

A left-wing corner from Tau was misjudged by Kazapua and Zungu was left with the simple task of arriving at the back post to head the ball into the unguarded Namibia net.

Namibia’s slim chances of qualification now rest on Monday’s Group D closer against Ivory Coast, while South Africa wrap up their group-stage campaign against leaders Morocco.

Key Opta Facts:

– South Africa have won their two encounters against Namibia at the Africa Cup of Nations (also 4-1 in February 1998).
– Bafana Bafana have won their first game at the Africa Cup of Nations since January 2013 (2-0 against Angola). It is also the first time since that game that they have kept a clean sheet in an AFCON game.
– Namibia are winless in their eight games played at the Africa Cup of Nations (D2 L6), failing to keep a clean sheet in any of these eight encounters (20 goals conceded).
– Bongani Zungu has scored his first goal at the Africa Cup of Nations, during his first game in the competition.

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