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A stunning return for Zwane, makes big statement as Bafana Bafana thrash Sierra Leone

A stunning return for Zwane, makes big statement as Bafana Bafana thrash Sierra Leone
Themba Zwane (Gallo Images)
Themba Zwane (Gallo Images)
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24 September 17:58

"Only fools don't change their minds," Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos uttered when queried on his 23-man squad that included veteran Themba Zwane.

The 33-year-old ensured that his rare recall to the senior national setup reminded the Belgian-born Bafana mentor that age is nothing but a number.

And Mshishi - as he is affectionately known - did so emphatically as Bafana Bafana cruised to a 4-0 victory over Sierra Leone in an international friendly encounter at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

In a week where Broos had to put out several fires that included a blip in a stadium booking that was not set in stone, meaning Bafana missed out on a Monday training session. But his charges did the business at Soccer City against a Sierra Leone who are currently 113th on the latest FIFA rankings.

Zwane was thrown straight into the Bafana starting XI alongside debutants Luke Le Loux and Mihali Mayambela, as Broos had to amend his familiar selection with several injured players sidelined.

It took Zwane 33 minutes to find the back of the net, with a sweet twist of his body but still managing to pull the trigger as white shirts crowded him. The ball found the back of the net, and Zwane's famous smile beamed from ear to ear.

Along with Zwane, who put in a glittering performance, Mayambela was denied no less than three chances by Sierra Leone goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara.

However, early in the second stanza, Mayambela scored his deserved first goal finishing off a beautiful attacking move. Zwane threaded through a ball towards Zakhele Lepasa, who squared a mouthwatering assist for Mayambela to tap home.

Sierra Leone lost all sense of drive, and Bafana sniffed blood and took advantage. Hard-running Kgaogelo Sekgota, a player in tremendous form for club Kaizer Chiefs, brought his pace and energy to the game.

The player would get an assist to his name as his cross found Zwane, who easily slotted in his second of the match beyond Kamara's reach. After the third goal, Broos handed debuts to Khanyisa Mayo, Pule Mmodi, Melusi Buthelezi and Ashley Du Preez.

Mayo immediately impacted the game as he timely played in Lepasa, who teed up Aubrey Modiba, and the Mamelodi Sundowns defender knocked home the fourth and final goal of the day. It was a goal that brought further smiles to the Bafana bench, particularly coach Broos as he now shifts his focus to the next game.

Bafana will again be at FNB Stadium on Tuesday for their final friendly against Botswana before the end of the FIFA international break.

Kick-off is at 18:00.

24 September 17:00

FULL TIME: Bafana Bafana 4-0 Sierra Leone

24 September 16:50

86' Plenty of debutants in this fixture today: Le Roux, Mayambela, Mmodi, Mayo, Buthelezi and Du Preez.

A great sight to see!

24 September 16:46

83' There has been a couple of changes in the past three minutes as Broos relinquishes goalkeeper and captain Williams, Zwane and Lepasa.

Melusi Buthelezi, Teboho Mokoena and Ashley Du Preez get a taste of the action.

24 September 16:35

Mayo makes an immediate impact as he plays in Lepasa, who holds the ball up in a timely manner before squaring it into the path of an oncoming Modiba, who slots home Bafana's fourth goal on the night.

24 September 16:34

72' GOAL, GOAL, GOAL!

24 September 16:29

68' First changes for Broos as Mayo comes on for Sekgota and Mmodi replaces debutant Mayambela.

24 September 16:28

66' Can Zwane score a hattrick on his Bafana return?

24 September 16:27

Sekgota leaps a searching cross from the left flank and Sierra Leone's poor defensive setup allows Zwane to snatch the ball off a white shirt from his first touch and with his second touch knocks it beyond Kamara to complete his brace.

24 September 16:25

63' GOAL! GOAL! GOAL!

24 September 16:24

54' Sierra Leone looks to have lost all sense of motivation for now as Bafana are seeing the majority of the ball possession. 

24 September 16:11

Mayambela finally scores after several attempts in the first half.

Zwane slices a through ball towards Lepasa, who puts in a low but hard cross for an oncoming Mayamabela to tap home beyond Kamara's reach.

Tantalising football by Bafana in the opening minutes of the second stanza. 

24 September 16:10

48' GOAL! GOAL! GOAL!

24 September 16:09

45' Second-half is now underway ...

24 September 15:55

What an entertaining first half and Broos will certainly be impressed with a number of his players despite only the one goal scored.

However, Zwane proved Broos wrong, who admittedly said when announcing his squad that "only fools don't change their minds". 

And Zwane's experience in the final third has now proved to be precious as his lone effort separate the two sides at half-time.

24 September 15:52

HALF-TIME!

24 September 15:51

39' MAYAMBELA! 

That was close for the debutant, who has been in the thick of things but Kamara again makes a great goalkeeping decision by coming off his line to glove the ball.

24 September 15:48

37' SAVE! Nearly an immediate response from the rest of the Bafana attack as Mayambela makes Kamara works as he makes an all-important save.

24 September 15:47

What a way to make your mark on this Bafana team and send a huge statement to Hugo Broos. Themba Zwane dazzles his way into the away sides penalty area and with ease, he loses his marker and ensures to bury his effort beyond Kamara's reach.

Crisp finish!

24 September 15:45

33' GOAL! GOAL! GOAL!

24 September 15:45

32' Mobbie cuts inside into Sierra Leone's penalty area and plays a low cross towards Lepasa, but Kamara again blocks and gloves the pass from finding its destination.

24 September 15:43

30' A half an hour into this fixture and the score remains goalless at Soccer City. 

24 September 15:42

23' Williams made to work here as he stretches to make a goal-bound save following a rare Sierra Leone attack.

24 September 15:40

21' First yellow card of the fixture as Sibisi is cautioned by referee Janny Sikazwe.

24 September 15:28

17' SAVE! Straight from a set-piece, Modiba goes for goal and Sierra Leone's Kamara stretches and palms it to safety.

24 September 15:27

12' There is a bit of bite in this Sierra Leone team. They certainly have nothing to lose and have played some decent passes around the park.

24 September 15:24

9' CHANCE! Zwane puts a good-looking cross into the danger area but it misses Lepasa. However, Sekgota is close to latching onto the ball but miss-timed the bounce and failed to capitalise on the opportunity.

24 September 15:18

The Belgian-born coach has had to make plenty of forced changes to his preferred eleven as injuries have inflicted bad luck over his squad. 

24 September 15:16

5' With no goal action yet let's look at this starting XI chosen by Broos. 

24 September 15:14

1' First-half whistle sounds and Bafana start proceedings ...

24 September 14:59

And we're underway as the teams are walking out of the tunnel at Soccer City and will stand centre pitch for the national anthems. 

24 September 14:20

Sierra Leone XI: Kamara; Kakay, Bangura, Koroma, Caulker, Sillah, Morsay, Quee, Bakayoko, Conteh, Kargbo.

<p><strong>Sierra Leone XI:</strong> Kamara; Kakay, Bangura, Koroma, Caulker, Sillah, Morsay, Quee, Bakayoko, Conteh, Kargbo.</p>

24 September 14:18

Bafana Bafana XI: Williams (c); Mobbie, Sibisi, Maela, Modiba, Le Roux, Sithole, Sekgota, Zwane, Mayambela, Lepasa.

<p><strong>Bafana Bafana XI:&nbsp;</strong>Williams (c); Mobbie, Sibisi, Maela, Modiba, Le Roux, Sithole, Sekgota, Zwane, Mayambela, Lepasa.</p>

24 September 13:56

*** Kick-off is at 15:00 ***

24 September 13:55

Broos keeping Bafana's Afcon dream alive by setting higher standards for SA football
READ FULL STORY!

24 September 13:54

'My mother just cried': Du Preez relishing Bafana opportunity after years of dreaming

READ FULL STORY!

24 September 13:53

Bafana captain Williams backs new faces to take opportunity in upcoming friendlies
READ FULL STORY!

24 September 13:49

BAFANA BAFANA 23-MAN SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Melusi Buthelezi (TS Galaxy).

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Rushin De Reuck, Khuliso Mudau, Aubrey Modiba (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela, Nkossinathi Sibisi (all Orlando Pirates), Siyanda Xulu, Siyanda Msani (Richards Bay).

Midfielders: Spephele Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Tebogo Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Luke Le Roux (Varbergs BoIS, Sweden), Sibongiseni Mthethwa (Stellenbosch FC).

Strikers: Zakhele Lepasa (Orlando Pirates), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City), Ashley Du Preez (Kaizer Chiefs), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Pula Mmodi (Golden Arrows), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol), Kgaogelo Sekgota (Kaizer Chiefs).

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