On today’s episode of Greatest Games, in association with The Blizzard, we look back to a match that represented a symbolic moment in the modern histories of two nations. The Sunday Times’ Ian Hawkey joins us to discuss Zimbabwe's first qualifying fixture for the 2014 African Cup of Nations, a match played in his then-local Harare.
Bruce Grobbelaar, who hadn’t represented his native Zimbabwe for several years, was called up on the same weekend that the Premier League began and a bench spot under new signing David James beckoned. He decided to fly to Harare just three days before the game and, after much political deliberation around his dual citizenship status, he was allowed to play. This strengthened the side’s Premier League connection, as Coventry City’s Peter Ndlovu also played for the country and excelled in this game.
This marked the arrival of Zimbabwe’s ‘Dream Team’, a national side that will be remembered with a folkloric appreciation, as they dismantled a new-look South Africa side in front of nearly 50,000 fans in their national stadium and set their sights on a historic international achievement.
For more stories from the annals of football history, visit www.theblizzard.co.uk to explore their archives that contain over 700 articles of stories just like this one!
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