CAF - South Africa v Zimbabwe

Image Source: Alamy Stock Photo

2026 World Cup qualifier
CAF Group C
South Africa v Zimbabwe
Free State Stadium
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Tuesday, 11 June 2024
Kick-off is at 18h00
South Africa will be looking to put pressure on the Group C leaders when they host neighbours Zimbabwe in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at the Free State Stadium on Tuesday, June 11.
Bafana Bafana picked up an important point on their travels after holding Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in Uyo on June 7 as they bounced back from the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Rwanda in Butare on November 21.
Hugo Broos' side had kicked off their qualifying campaign with a 2-1 victory against Benin in Durban on November 18 and they trail unbeaten Lesotho by one point in fourth place.
Broos insists he won't settle for anything less than maximum points against the Warriors, but admits the group is finely balanced due to the emergence of the smaller nations on the continent.
"We are playing on Tuesday against Zimbabwe and we need the three points. I will not be happy if we don't win against Zimbabwe," the Belgian tactician stated.
"But it's easier to say that here, behind the microphones, because I know that it will be a tough game again on Tuesday night. The group is not made up of top countries, but it is a very tricky group.
"When you see now after three games and the results, it's unbelievable. I think this was for me the biggest change at AFCON as well.
"The little countries, like we named them, have progressed a lot. Like we saw at AFCON, the teams that were in the second and third round, we normally don't expect them there."
Zimbabwe bring up the rear in the group, although they are just three points adrift of Southern African rivals Lesotho after three matches.
Jairos Tapera's side saw their unbeaten record come to an end with a 2-0 loss to the Crocodiles on June 7, having held Rwanda (0-0) and Nigeria (1-1) to successive draws in November.
Tapera is targeting an improved performance against South Africa after admitting they defended poorly on set-pieces in Johannesburg on matchday 3,
"The loss [to Lesotho] is history and against Bafana Bafana it is a different game altogether," the Warriors interim coach said.
"I am sure we might perform differently against Bafana Bafana. We need to work on our defence, we also need to work on set-pieces. We were poor when it came to [defending] the set-pieces [against Lesotho]."

Head-to-Head (Last Five Meetings)

Matches - 5
South Africa wins - 2
Zimbabwe wins - 2
Draws - 1

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Published: 06/11/2024