Bafana can edge old foe

TONIGHT'S match-up with the African champions is the 15th time that South Africa take on Zambia in an international, making them Bafana Bafana's most frequent opponents.

Bafana Bafana have met Zimbabwe 12 times, Mauritius 11 and Egypt 10 over the past 20 years of international action but Zambia have been their most frequent adversaries.

Honours are exactly even over the 14 matches, with four wins each and six draws. Goals are 15-14 in favour of Zambia.

The last meeting between the two countries was a friendly at Atteridgeville in 2009 in which Bafana triumphed with a second-half Teko Modise goal.

Zambia have featured prominently at pivotal moments in Bafana history - like the 2-1 win Bafana registered over Chipolopolo at Ellis Park in 1994 on the day of Nelson Mandela's inauguration as president.

The half-time break was close to 30 minutes long as the new president arrived late and was then introduced to the players, who had lined up again in two rows.

Straight from the resumption, after a handshake from Mandela, South Africa scored twice in two minutes as the theory of "Madiba Magic" was born.

Zambia were the opponents when South Africa won a key game on the road to a first-ever World Cup qualification when Helman Mkhalele got the team off to an emphatic three-goal win with a rasping shot early on.

Zambia were South Africa's opponents again the following year in Philippe Troussier's first game in charge, just ahead of the World Cup in France.

Delron Buckley made his debut that night and is in the squad again 14 years later.

In 2008 South Africa were added to the rare list of countries who have beaten Zambia in Lusaka when centre-back Aaron Mokoena scored the only goal in an Africa Nations Cup qualifier.

It was Pitso Mosimane who took charge of a memorable afternoon in Bafana history but then 11 months later, with Carlos Alberto Parreira having taken over, South Africa lost 3-1 at Newlands in Cape Town, giving up three goals to Chris Katongo in the first 20 minutes because of schoolboy errors.

Papi Zothwane was taken off on the half-hour mark and never got a look-in at international level again.

Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and fullback Joseph Musonda have played in the past six games against Bafana.