Zimbabwe U23………………..(0) 1
SA U23………………………….(0) 1
Keagan Dolly scored a wonderful goal on the 67th minute before hosts Zimbabwe were awarded a dubious penalty with 11 minute to full time as the tantalising encounter ended in a 1-1 stalemate at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After dominating the entire first half in which South Africa spurned two golden chances, Dolly gave the visitors a deserved lead midway through the second half and with Owen Da Gama’s side headed for a famous win, Zambian referee awarded a questionable penalty to the hosts after adjudging that captain Kwanda Mngonyama had handled inside the box.
Walter Musona made no mistake from the spot to somehow break Da Gama’s spirits after his boys had literally run rings around the hosts.
South Africa made a bright start from the word go but there were very few opening chances as both teams massed up the midfield.
Siyabonga Zulu gave Zimbabwe keeper Tatenda Mukuruva some problems on the 16th minute with a rasping shot as the visitors put the hosts under tremendous pressure.
Zimbabwe struggled to fashion their own chances and hardly troubled South African goalkeeper Ricardo Goss.
Siphelele Ntshangase then almost gave the visitors a deserved lead on the 30th minute but Zimbabwe keeper Mukuruva saved the day for the hosts with a brilliant save.
For most of the opening minutes, it was the visitors who asked all the probing questions but Mukuruva in goals for Zimbabwe stood in between.
Siphiwe Khambule blasted over the bar from inside the box in referee’s added time of the first half as the visitors were once again denied the opening goal at the stroke of half time.
In a bid to add some bite upfront, Da Gama removed Khambule for Dumisani Zuma on the 60th minute as the visitors continued to search for the elusive goal.
Then came the big moment for the visitors!
Keagan Dolly came to the party with a solo effort beating the entire Zimbabwe defence before slotting a powerful shot past Mukuruva to silence a near capacity Rufaro Stadium to make it 1-0.
Zimbabwe replied immediately with their own attempt but the South African defence cleared the danger.
It became a ding dong affair thereafter with South Africa looking to add another goal and the hosts pouring forward looking for the equaliser.
Zimbabwe were then awarded a very questionable penalty on the 83rd minute when captain Mngonyama was adjudged to have handled in the box and Walter Musona scored from the resultant kick to make it 1-1.
SA U23 starting 11 v Zimbabwe: Ricardo Goss (Gk), Zitha Macheke, Kwanda Mngonyama, Tshepo Rikhotso, Siyabonga Zulu, Abbubakar Mobara, Keagan Dolly, Maphosa Modiba, Ayabulela Konqoba, Siphelele Ntshangase, Simphiwe Kambule
Subs: Jordi February, Thabo Makhele, Gino Moeketsi, Tebogo Moerane, Motjeka Madisha, Dumisani Zuma, Siphamandla Dlamini