Warriors midfielder picks Bafana as toughest obstacle on World Cup path

Warriors midfielder Ovidy Karuru believes Bafana Bafana will be Zimbabwe's toughest opponent in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers despite both sides being drawn against powerhouse Ghana.

Karuru says that Bafana Bafana will fight tooth and nail to ensure they prove themselves superior to their neighbours in the trans-Limpopo battle.

Warriors midfielder picks Bafana as toughest obstacle

The Fifa World Cup qualifiers are set to get underway in September having been hit by pandemic-related delays and Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana and Ethiopia are drawn together in Group G.

"We have been waiting to play Bafana Bafana," Karuru told Cosafa TV. "We always want to play against South Africa, because when we are here [in the Premier Soccer League] at our clubs, we always talk about it.
"We have missed the Battle of Limpopo," he added. "I think that one is going to be out toughest game, because South Africa do not want to lose against Zimbabwe and we do not want to lose to South Africa.
"When it comes to Ghana and the other team [Ethiopia], I think we just have to go there and come out with a result, then we take them on in the reverse fixture at our home ground."

No home ground advantage

Karuru insists that Zimbabwe will be confident of getting results against Ghana and Ethiopia at home but said their advantage would count for little against Bafana Bafana.

"Against South Africa, there is no home, there is no away for us especially guys playing here in South Africa," he added. "It's going to be a tough one. All I can promise is that I don't see us losing that game."

Bafana Bafana enjoy a higher profile than Zimbabwe's in world football, but it is the Warriors who hold the edge in historic meeting between the two.

Zimbabwe and Bafana Bafana out to end droughts

Zimbabwe have won seven of the 15 meetings between the neighbours in international football with Bafana Bafana claiming just six wins. Many of those wins came against the weakened teams fielded in regional tournament, the Cosafa Cup, however the South Africans cannot afford to take their neighbours lightly.

South Africa did come out on top the last time the sides met in World Cup qualifying when Bafana Bafana went on to reach the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan.

Bafana Bafana have not reached the World Cup through the qualifiers since with their last appearance in the global showpiece coming when South Africa hosted in 2010.

Zimbabwe have never qualified for the World Cup.