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Zwane spearheads Bafana’s win over Sierra Leone

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Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos’ questions about why everyone was always on his case about his snub of Themba Zwane were answered when the player spearheaded SA’s convincing 4-0 victory over Sierra Leone on Saturday.

The Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker scored a brace as Bafana thumped hapless Leone Stars in an international friendly match at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Debutant Mihali Mayambela and Kgaogelo Sekgota, who scored Bafana’s other two goals, gave almost perfect performances against the lowly-ranked Leone of Stars.

Broos’ men were solid at the back, played well in the middle and were deadly in front of the goals.

The clash also marked the return of Zwane in spite of outcries and criticism from both the media and fans.

Zwane has been one of the most consistent players in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in the past few seasons but this was the first time that he received a call-up to the national side under Broos’ reign.

The coach kept overlooking the player because he was apparently too old to play in his team.

But Zwane answered all the doubts the coach may had scoring a beautiful goal after 33 minutes of play.

The player received a good pass from Zakhele Lepasa and made a turn inside the box before putting the ball at the back of the net.

The goal was not the only good thing that came from Zwane as he was instrumental in Bafana’s attack by creating opportunities for SA.

Another player who had a good game on his debut was the Cyprus-based Mayambela, who is the brother of former Orlando Pirates’ dribbling wizard Mark.

The combination of the 26-year-old Mayambela, who plays for Aris Limassol, Lepasa and Zwane rattled the Leone Stars’ defence.

Mayambela played with courage and took on the opponents without fear of making a mistake.

The Cape Town-born player looks set to earn more caps for Bafana.

It was no surprise when Mayambela got on the scoresheet after four minutes into the second half after another excellent assist by Lepasa.

Lepasa came up against Leone goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara on the far left of the box and he dribbled past the goal and set up Mayambela for his first goal in national team colours.

While it looked like Sierra Leone were in the game in the opening half, Bafana took complete control of the match and dismantled their visitors.

Zwane continued to shine on his return when he completed his brace on 64 minutes.

Mshishi, as Zwane is affectionately known, benefited from a Kgaogelo Sekgota and scored his second goal.

For his second goal, Zwane received a standing ovation from the man, Broos, who had been overlooking him as Broos clapped his hand for a few good seconds before returning his seat.

Modiba completed Bafana’s rout of Sierra Leone when he scored on 72 minutes after a goalmouth scramble.

The return of Zwane gave Broos his biggest win ever since taking over SA early last year.

Broos will be hoping for more of the same when they face Botswana in another friendly match at FNB Stadium on Tuesday (3pm).

However, Broos is likely to field a different team against Botswana as his aim is to give everyone in camp a fair chance to prove themselves.

These matches form part of the preparations for the two crucial Afcon qualifiers that SA will play against Liberia in March next year.

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Source: TimesLIVE