Bafana Bafana bounced back in style and registered their first win at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after thumping Namibia 4-0 during their Group E encounter at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Sunday.
Thanks to goals from Percy Tau from the penalty spot, a brace from midfield maestro Themba Zwane and Thapelo Maseko’s second half strike.
The win means that South Africa are now number two on the group with three points – one point behind Mali who are currently occupying the number one spot with four points.
Bafana went into the game knowing that a win would increase their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages, following their disappointing opening clash against Mali last week.
Coach Hugo Broos made two changes, which saw Thapelo Morena and Grant Kekana starting ahead of Siyanda Xulu and Maseko.
Broos selected a backline that consisted of four Mamelodi Sundowns players and their clear mandate was to close down their teammate and lethal striker Peter Shalulile.
It did not take long for Bafana to find the back of the net when they were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute after AmaZulu defender Riaan Hanamub handled the ball inside the box.
A brave Tau stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, redeeming himself following his penalty miss against Mali in the first match.
Zwane showed his class and flamboyance as he banged in two well-taken goals which saw Bafana go into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The Namibians came back into the second half looking livelier, as they created chances to score but the Mothobi Mvala-led Bafana defense was disciplined and made sure that they kept their shape at the back.
As expected, Broos made substitutions which saw Evidence Makgopa, Morena and Zwane coming off.
Zakhele Lepasa, Thabang Monare and Maseko were introduced, and the Sundowns speedy winger repaid Broos by putting the game to bed with a lovely strike in the 75th minute after a wonderful pass from Teboho Mokoena.
The South Africans will now prepare for their final group game against Tunisia on Wednesday night.