SA, Zimbabwe take football rivalry to KZNby MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – HOSTS South Africa and Zimbabwe will continue their long-running rivalry on Saturday when the countries’ Under 23 sides contest for a berth in an Olympics Games 2016 qualifier.
The junior sides will clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
Kickoff is at 20h15.
In the reverse fixture played in Harare a fortnight ago, the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw at Rufaro Stadium.
Ahead of the match, South Africa coach, Owen da Gama, shot down suggestions his side were favourites owing to the away-goal.
I don’t want to dwell on the Zimbabwe game at Rufaro; that was the first half, now we are heading into the final critical phase on Saturday and I am relishing the prospect of that game,” the coach said cautiously.
South Africa and Zimbabwe have over the years maintained a fierce rivalry in football.
Memorable games have been played, including the first meeting at senior level following South Africa’s re-admission in 1992.
A supercharged Zimbabwe, led by teenage sensation Peter Ndlovu dismissed South Africa 4-1 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
There has been tragedy though at the stadium before.
In 2000, 13 people lost their lives following a stampede after police fired teargas at Zimbabwean supporters reacting angrily to a goal.
South Africa eventually won 2-0.
At junior level, one particular match stands out.
Zimbabwe ‘s Young Warriors famously beat their counterparts in the 2007 COSAFA Under 20 Championships Final at the Thulamashe Stadium in Mupmalanga, South Africa.
Teenage striker, Knowledge Musona, who came in as a second-half substitute, scored a memorable hat trick, including a goal with his first touch, to win the gold for his country.”
– CAJ News
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