Gor Mahia striker Patrick Sibomana shines as Rwanda stun South Africa

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FOOTBALL Gor Mahia striker Patrick Sibomana shines as Rwanda stun South Africa

Festus Chuma 18:49 - 21.11.2023

Gor Mahia striker Patrick Sibomana played a pivotal role as Rwanda delivered a stunning upset in a 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier.

Gor Mahia forward Patrick Sibomana came on as a second-half substitute to play a crucial role in Rwanda's historic 2-0 victory over South Africa in a 2026 FIFA World Cup Group C qualifier on Tuesday afternoon.

This monumental upset not only ended South Africa's 11-match winning streak but also left football fans around Africa in awe of Rwanda's remarkable performance.

Sibomana replaced Lague Byiringiro at the start of the second half in a clash that marked a turning point in what would be a historic clash between the two sides.

Rwanda, previously struggling with a six-game winless streak across all competitions, displayed incredible determination and skill throughout the match.

The thunderstorm that preceded the kick-off left the pitch drenched, creating treacherous conditions for both teams.

However, it was South Africa's inability to adapt to these challenging circumstances that ultimately proved costly.

Their arrogance in failing to respect the conditions was evident in the opening minutes of play, as they struggled to find their footing and were repeatedly thwarted by Rwanda's tenacious defense.

Rwanda capitalized on the adverse conditions and scored two remarkable goals within just 28 minutes. Innocent Nshuti and Gilbert Mugisha were the heroes of the first half, showcasing their exceptional talent and composure in front of goal.

South Africa's chances of mounting a comeback were stifled as Rwanda adopted a long-ball strategy, with their attackers relentlessly pressuring the shaky opposition defense.

Bafana Bafana found themselves on the defensive for a significant portion of the game, unable to regain control.

Even when South Africa managed to dispossess their opponents, their attempts to build attacks from deep positions proved futile.

The first half concluded with a single shot on target for Bafana Bafana, while Rwanda, in stark contrast, had four shots on goal, two of which found the back of the net.

As the second half began, the ground staff worked tirelessly to clear some of the rainwater from the pitch, but the conditions remained challenging for the players.

South Africa showed signs of promise, with two shots on goal in the first 12 minutes of the half, although they failed to find the target on both occasions.

In an effort to inject pace into their attack, Coach Hugo Broos introduced Zakhele Lepasa for Bongokuhle Hlongwane.

While this change raised the attacking intent for South Africa, they continued to struggle in the final third, unable to convert promising movements into goals. 

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