Bafana Bafana open World Cup qualifying campaign with victory over Benin

Bafana Bafana’s quest to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup got off to a winning start after beating Benin 2-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Percu Tau and a first international strike for Khuliso Mudau gave the hosts a 2-0 lead before Steve Mounie pulled a goal back for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining.

With group rivals Nigeria held to a 1-1 draw against Lesotho earlier in the week, Bafana knew a home win would put them in pole position. They got off to the perfect start in the second minute when neat build-up play and inter-passing saw Themba Zwane release Tau, who made no mistake beating visiting goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe.

The hosts were well in control of the contest for the rest of the first-half and were rewarded in injury-time when Mudau followed-up and tucked home to make it 2-0.

The game became a scrappy affair after the interval with Benin not giving Bafana the time and space they enjoyed in the opening period. Hugo Broos’ charges would then be disappointed when conceding a goal with 20 minutes remaining as Mounie’s volley beat Ronwen Williams.

The goal could’ve set up a nervy ending to the contest but Bafana held out and took all three points with their next qualifier away to Rwanda on Tuesday.

(story credit: SABC Sport)

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