S Africa defeat Zambia at AFCON Futsal Cup of Nations

South Africa got their AFCON Futsal Cup of Nations campaign back on track with a hard-fought 3-0 win over COSAFA rivals Zambia at the Standard Bank Arena on Sunday.

The hosts were outplayed 4-7 by another COSAFA side, Mozambique in the opening game on Friday but came guns blazing in a do-or-die encounter against Zambia who beat Tunisia 4-2 in their opening game, also on Friday.

In an absorbing second half, the home side that had missed a glut of chances in a goalless first half, went on a goal scoring spree as they romped home to a convincing victory in one of the most captivating second half displays. And had they converted all their chances, could have beaten Zambia by a bigger scoreline.

“The boys played to instructions especially in the second half and we need to take this win to Tuesday’s must win match against Tunisia. We are gelling at the right time and I am confident of reaching the semis,” said South Africa coach Joao Pinto.

After a goalless first half in which both teams were guilty of spurning chance after chance, South Africa changed tactics in the second stanza in which they decided to open fire at any given opportunity.

That strategy immediately paid dividends a few minutes into the second half when Renaldo Donnelly found the back of the net to give the boisterous crowd something to cheer about.

Moments later, it was 2-0 for the rampant home side when Wiseman Cele rifled home a cracker that gave Zambian keeper Bonface Banda no chance.

With the home crowd in full cry, Nwashokwe Mashaba made it 3-0 when he tapped home a rebound after Donnelly had let off a cracker which was spilled by Banda for Mashaba to easily tap home.

South Africa next play Tunisia on Tuesday and if they overcome the North Africans, will proceed to the semis in which only three top teams from Africa qualify for Colombia FIFA World Cup later this year.