Soccer Africa

Africa: 2026 WC Qualifiers – 5 Key Duels to Watch As Rwanda Take On South Africa

Frank Spittler’s Rwanda return to action on Tuesday, November 21, when they welcome South Africa at Huye Stadium in a match whose winner will move at the top of Group C in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Group C qualifiers.

Amavubi were held to a goalless draw by Zimbabwe on match day one whereas Hugo Broos’ troops commenced the campaign brightly following Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Benin at Moses Mabhida Stadium courtesy of goals from Percy Tau and Khuliso Mudau.

ALSO READ: 2026 WC qualifiers: Zimbabwe hold Amavubi in Spittler’s debut test

Times Sport takes a look at five key battles people should look out for as Amavubi and Bafana Bafana lock horns at the former’s home ground.

Percy Tau vs Emmanuel Imanishimwe

The two North African based players have already carved a niche for themselves on the continent with great display for Al Ahly and AS FAR Rabat respectively.

The pair will be coming up against each other for the first time in what promises to be an entertaining duel.

Tau has great pace and, with his low centre of gravity, he is able to move the ball fast and take on opposing defenders.

Imanishimwe is, on the other hand, a skilled left back who, at his best, contributes immensely to both defensive and attacking plays.

The former APR and Rayon Sports defender didn’t have a great game against Zimbabwe he faces a tough task to stop the Bafana Bafana skipper from operating.

Ange Mutsinzi Vs Evidence Makgopa

Mutsinzi was a pillar at the back as Amavubi drew goalless with the Warriors of Zimbabwe. The FK Jerv centre back saved Amavubi on three occasions with timely tackles and clearances and he will need to put up a similar performance to keep Makgopa at bay.

It won’t be easy for Mutsinzi to cope with the Bafana Bafana forward who had a fantastic hold up play as the lone ranger upfront against Benin.

Coach Hugo Broos is likely to maintain him as his arrowhead and Mutsinzi must be on him throughout the game or else the Orlando Pirates forward can cause havoc if he is fit for the game.

Hakim Sahabo vs Sphephelo Sithole

It will be interesting to see how teenager Sahabo fares against Sithole in midfield. The Standard Liege youngster remains the most creative player in the Amavubi team and he was very commanding in the second half of the game with Zimbabwe before he substituted in the 76th minute.

Much of Amavubi’s outcome on against South Africa will depend on Sahabo. He will have to do with a tough and rugged midfielder in the person of Sithole.

Sithole will come kicking Sahabo so as to put fear in him in the early stages but the teenager should stay calm and know when to hold or release balls when in possession.

Djihad Bizimana vs Themba Zwane

The Rwandan skipper was arguably the man of the match in the goalless draw with Zimbabwe. During the entire game, he barely put a foot wrong. With his accurate passes, tackles and dribbles, he had a high work rate and he clearly showed he is playing top level football in Ukraine.

To win the battle of the midfield against South Africa, he will this time round need to mute Zwane, a very crafty offensive midfielder who operates as a number 10 just behind Makgopa.