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South Africa secure emphatic win over neighbours Namibia at Cup of Nations

South Africa secure emphatic win over neighbours Namibia at Cup of Nations
Sphephelo Sithole of Bafana Bafana. (Photo: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

KORHOGO, Ivory Coast, Jan 21 (Reuters) - South Africa veteran Themba Zwane scored twice as they comfortably overcame neighbours Namibia 4-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations Group E clash on Sunday to boost their chances of progressing to the last-16.

Zwane’s double at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium came after Percy Tau converted a 14th-minute penalty, having fired one wide in their first match against Mali last week, while substitute Thapelo Maseko netted the fourth.

The 34-year-old Zwane scored twice in the space of 15 minutes to take a first-half lead from which Namibia never recovered.

South Africa, whose victory margin was the biggest of the tournament in the Ivory Coast, moved ahead of Namibia on goal difference in the standings, behind leaders Mali who have four points but two points ahead of top-seeded Tunisia, who have one.

Namibia had upset Tunisia in their opening game and might have gone ahead early against their neighbours had key striker Peter Shalulile taken two good early chances. He missed a sitter from right in front of goal in the eighth minute, facing his club mate Ronwen Williams in the South African goal.

South Africa were then handed a penalty for a second successive game courtesy of a VAR check, which showed a handball from left back Riaan Hanamub as he tried to halt South Africa winger Thapelo Morena’s progress up the flank.

Tau, who had a horror miss from the spot against Mali, made no mistake this time to put South Africa ahead.

Zwane then finished off a smart pullback from Morena to make it 2-0 in the 25th minute and glided past the defence for the third goal in the 40th minute, outpacing the Namibia backs before slotting home.

The speed of Maseko was also key for the fourth goal in the 75th minute as he ran onto a ball played over the midfield, sprinting away to score.

South Africa, beaten 2-0 by Mali in their opening game, conclude their group campaign against Tunisia, who will need a win to stand any chance of progressing, while Namibia go up against Mali.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)

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