JOHANNESBURG, March 26 (Reuters) - South Africa scrapped to an unconvincing 2-1 win over Uganda on Saturday to maintain their lead in African zone Group Two.
Steven Pienaar netted the winning goal in the 72nd minute
after Uganda had threatened to derail their World Cup
The Ajax Amsterdam midfielder tucked away a cross from
Delron Buckley in one of the few moments of enterprise from the
home side, playing in front of a paltry 10,000 crowd at the
cavernous 75,000-capacity Soccer City.
South Africa led at halftime through a penalty from Quinton
Fortune in the 21st minute, although the decision from the
Nigerian referee bemused all watching.
It was only the second goal for his country in 47
appearances for the Manchester United player.
Uganda were awarded an equally fortuitous spot kick midway
through the second half which was converted by captain David
The win puts South Africa four ahead of their nearest
challengers, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, who
play each other in Kinshasa on Sunday.
South Africa, who will host the 2010 World Cup finals,
benched their key striker Benni McCarthy after he only arrived
in Johannesburg on the eve of the game, although he did come on
early in the second half.