Only the group leaders will secure tickets to the 2026 FIFA World Cup
South Africa kicked off their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign in brilliant fashion after they defeated Benin Republic 2-1 on Saturday afternoon, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Bafana Bafana are close favourites with Nigeria to finish ahead of Benin, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe in the race to qualify for the next edition of the Mundial.
And after Nigeria only settled for a disappointing 1-1 draw with Lesotho on Thursday, South Africa made sure they did not fall into the same trap as they saw off the stubborn challenge of the Beninoise.
Former Brighton forward Percy Tau gave the Bafana Bafana the lead with only two minutes played before Khuliso Johnson Mudau doubled their advantage shortly before the halftime break.
Brest striker Steve Mounié scored for Benin midway through the second half to reduce the deficit for the Cheetahs.
However, the West Africans, managed by former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, could not muster the equaliser despite creating a late flurry of chances.
The win sends South Africa to the top of Group C, a position they will look to consolidate when they travel to face Rwanda on Tuesday, November 21.
With Rwanda playing a goalless draw with Zimbabwe on matchday one, the two teams are locked on one point with Nigeria and Lesotho.
The Super Eagles could, however, turn things around for the better when they lock horns with Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium in Rwanda on Sunday.
The former African champions will target a fifth win in seven appearances against the Warriors.