South Africa, Ethiopia race hots up

Bafana BafanaEthiopia won 2-1 in Botswana Saturday to stay two points ahead of fancied South Africa in a thrilling Group A race for FIFA World Cup™ survival. A couple of first-half goals for leading scorers Getaneh Kebede and Saladin Ahmed put bottom seeds Ethiopia in control before Tebogo Sembowa pulled one back in Lobatse.

South Africa triumphed 3-0 over Central African Republic in a clash of injury depleted sides in Yaounde, with the match moved to Cameroon because Bangui was considered unsafe. Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala scored during the opening half on an artificial surface and leading South African 2012/13 league scorer Katlego Mashego added a third during stoppage time.

But Bafana Bafana celebrations of a rare competitive win on the road were diluted by the Ethiopian result, and the sides meet on 16 June in a potential group decider in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia have ten points and South Africa eight with two rounds left, and a win for the home side next weekend would give them an unassailable advantage over the three-time FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The ten African group winners will be paired off for the final stage during October and November with the winners of the five home-and-away ties qualifying for Brazil 2014. While South Africa are finding the going tough in a group they were expected to dominate, fellow top seeds Tunisia, Ivory Coast,Senegal and Congo Brazzaville moved closer to topping other pools. Read more

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