Amavubi shock Bafana in Butare
- Mike Johnshon
- 21 Nov, 2023
In a surprising turn of events during the recent Africa 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Rwanda secured a 2-0 victory over South Africa at Huye Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Both teams grappled with a water-logged pitch at Huye Stadium, facing difficulties in establishing a passing rhythm due to the ball sticking to the Astro turf.
The wet conditions seemed to even out the playing field, leading to numerous closely contested battles in midfield.
However, it was Rwanda who took the lead when Innocent Nshuti scored in the 12th minute. In a quick transition, Nshuti capitalized on a lobbed ball into South Africa's half, striking a shot on the half-volley that left Ronwen Williams motionless.
South Africa, struggling against long balls, found Rwanda adapting better to the challenging conditions around the 20th minute.
Continuing to pose threats in attack, the home team intensified their pressure on the visitors.
Amavubi then extended their lead just before the half-hour mark with Gilbert Mugeshi's splendid individual effort. Maneuvering past Khuliso Mudau on the left-wing, Mugeshi calmly slotted the ball into the net.
Despite South Africa's efforts to reduce the deficit, Rwanda comfortably maintained their two-goal lead until halftime.
Bafana Bafana showcased improved performance after the break, controlling possession and attempting to take control of the game.
However, Rwanda effectively fended off South Africa's advances, maintaining a solid defensive stance.
As the pitch dried up in Butare, South Africa dominated possession after the 60-minute mark but struggled to create significant scoring chances.
Players like Themba Zwane came close to scoring for South Africa during this phase but were let down by inaccurate finishing.
Towards the end of the match, South Africa intensified their pressure with Percy Tau and Mihlali Mayambela pushing high up the field.
However, Bafana failed to overturn the scoreline as Amavubi sealed a clinical 2-0 victory at Huye Stadium.
Rwanda (2) 2 (Nshuti 12’ 28’)
South Africa 0
RWANDA: Ntwari, Imanishimwe, Manzi, Mutsinzi, Omborenga, Niyonzima, Bizimana, Byringiro (Sibomana 46’), Muhire (Sahabo 59’), Mugisha (Niyomugabo 73’), Nshuti (Mugenzi 70’)
SOUTH AFRICA: Williams, Modiba, Xulu, Sibisi, Mudau, Sithole (Appollis 75’), Mokoena, Hlongwane (Lepasa 52’), Zwane, Tau, Mayambela
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