South Africa surrendered an 18-match unbeaten record after losing 2-1 at home to Zambia Tuesday in an international friendly match in northwestern village Moruleng.
Lebogang Manyama nodded South Africa ahead on 23 minutes, Brian Mwila fired Zambia level after 72 minutes and Lubinda Mundia snatched the winner 11 minutes from time.
The hastily arranged match followed contrasting weekend results for the countries in the opening round of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
South Africa stunned Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo — the first success of “Bafana Bafana” (The Boys) in 10 competitive clashes with the “Super Eagles”.
Zambia suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by Mozambique, who had not beaten “Chipolopolo” (Copper Bullets) in 18 other meetings spanning four decades.
South Africa fielded a completely different starting side from Nigeria having arrived home only a day before the friendly.
The refusal of African club competition contenders Zanaco and Zesco United to release players meant Zambia also showed 11 changes from side that started against Mozambique.
“We needed this win badly after suffering a setback at the weekend,” said Zambia coach and former star Wedson Nyirenda.
“Instead of being a threat to our opponents, we became a threat to ourselves in the second half,” lamented England-born South Africa coach Stuart Baxter.
The next major fixtures for both countries come in late August and early September when African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia resumes.
South Africa play back-to-back matches against Cape Verde and Zambia face Algeria twice.