Zimbabwe beat South Africa 2-1 in an international friendly played on an artificial-pitch at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare on Tuesday evening.
Knowledge Musona’s brace denied Bafana Bafana the chance to stretch their dominance over the Warriors to seven victories in 12 internationals since 1992. Bafana striker Bradley Grobler scored Bafana’s solitary goal on his debut, which gave the visitors the lead going into half time.
With both teams having failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations the match was expected to be a low profile friendly, especially considering that Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane had travelled with a less experienced team, leaving out nine regulars. This proved not to be the case as the two Cosafa sides threw everything into the game.
The visitors opened the flood gates in the 28th minute when Grobler controlled a brilliant Teko Modise pass which Lincoln Zvasiya had failed to clear, and the Turkish-based striker showed composure, taking his time to stroke the ball home.
Kermit Erasmus nearly doubled the lead for Bafana in the 31st minute, but his venomous shot found goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini equal to the task. Mosimane watched in disbelief as a rebound from Kapini found no takers inside the box after the goalkeeper had failed to collect a well struck Teko Modise free kick in the 37th minute.
The Warriors came close to levelling the score just before the break, but Khama Billiat watched in agony as his shot flew over the bar after he was set up by Musona.
Zimbabwe came back into the game a rejuvenated side in the second half, Musona heading in the equalizer in the 52nd minute after benefiting from a brilliant cross by Tapiwa Khumbuyani.
Musona was back again to haunt Bafana, this time taking full advantage of a defensive error by defender Bevan Fransman to give Zimbabwe a 2-1 lead with 61 minutes gone.
Both coaches started ringing the changes just after the hour mark. Zim coach Norman Mapeza introduced Ramson Zhuwawo for Tinashe Nengomasha in the 66th minute and Mosimane handed Siyabonga Nontshinga his debut, coming in for Kermit Erasmus in the 68th minute.
Musona’s chances to score a hat-trick on the night were dealt a blow when he was substituted for Gilbert Mapemba in the 87th minute, while Grobler also made way for George Lebese.
These changes did nothing to affect the result, as Zimbabwe managed to defend their lead and beat Bafana 2-1.