Synthetic Pitch Sinks South Africa As Rwanda Go Top of Group C in World Cup Qualifiers

Synthetic Pitch Sinks South Africa As Rwanda Go Top of Group C in World Cup Qualifiers

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at November 21, 2023 at 3:21 PM
In this article:
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
  • The synthetic pitch at Huye Stadium was pointed out by Hugo Broos in the build-up
  • Rwanda capitalised on poor defending to earn a 2-0 win against South Africa
  • South Africa wasted a golden opportunity to go four points clear of Nigeria

Blame may be laid at the surface but the performance was below average.

Rwanda used their home advantage to earn a huge win over South Africa in the second game of the international window.

The win blows Group C of CAF's 2026 World Cup qualifiers wide open and allows Nigeria to regather before the next set of fixtures.

Rwanda, South Arica, World Cup qualifier.
A synthetic pitch with poor drainage sunk South Africa's ambitions as they failed to adapt against a Rwandan team who beat them 2-0. Photo: @UsherKomugisha.
Source: Twitter

The plastic pitch was drenched by rain before kickoff making the run of the ball inconsistent and disorientating for unfamiliar visitors.

The ball bounced erratcially too, which was capitalised on by Rwanda's Innocent Nshuti who was not put under enough pressure by defender Nkosinathi Sibisi.

Nshuti slid Rwanda's first shot into the bottom right-hand corner of a flat-footed Ronwen Williams' goal, then got himself booked for taking his shirt off while celebrating.

The slick passing witnessed at the Moses Mabhida Stadium was impossible and Hugo Broos' prediction that the game would be a battle came true.

Questioning the wisdom of scheduling a fixture on such a surface, SoccerLaduma quoted Broos as saying:

"It's very difficult to play good football here. it will be more of fighting football here. Here is a pitch that may be 20 to 25 years old. It's like playing on the streets."

Khuliso Mudau was the talk of the town following the game against Benin but was at fault for the second goal, as he overelaborated with an overhit Rwandan pass.

Attempting the shield the ball and swivel away, Mudau was dispossessed by Gilbert Mugisha who poked it past Williams to extend their lead.

Bafana Bafana finished with one shot on target, with Themba Zwane's hoofed effort from 15 yards out summing up their fortunes.

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Harambee Stars hit five past Seychelles

In another qualifier, Sports Brief reported on Kenya crushing Seychelles.

The Enjin Firat-tutored side secured a huge 5-0 win over the island nation.

This was one of Kenya's biggest wins in the country's football history.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.
South AfricaSouth Africa Football Association (SAFA)