S'Busiso Mseleku

Opinion divided on Bafana

2014-09-11 12:36
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)
Opinion about Bafana Bafana is divided following their goalless draw against Nigeria in their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Cape Town.

This is nothing new in football, for opinion to vary.

Hopes were high following the convincing 3-0 win over Sudan that the South Africans senior men's national soccer team would come out tops.

Now that the match ended in a stalemate, there are those who say it's a good result given South Africa's record against Nigeria (played 10, won 1, drew 2, lost 7) while there those who feel that the fact that people are proud of a draw, is a reflection of how low Bafana have fallen.

Well, let's look at the two matches.

Bafana Bafana played a disjointed game against Sudan in their first outing during the opening stanza.

They recovered and dished out a decent performance after half-time and managed to score three good goals.

But it has to be said that this was against a country ranked 115th in the world while Bafana Bafana are number 69.

And then against Nigeria, they started very well in the first half but did not have such a great second half. They created fewer scoring chances and missed those that came their way.

There was too much hanging on to the ball which saw scoring chances being wasted as the ball was soon taken away while team-mates were still waiting for the pass.

It has to be noted that this was against the reigning African champions who were a far better side than Sudan.

This is the scenario after two rounds of these qualifiers: Bafana Bafana are sitting second with four points from two outings while Congo Brazzaville (who would have believed it) are on top having beaten Nigeria 3-2 away and Sudan 2-0 at home. The Super Eagles are third and Sudan bottom.

It gets tougher from here as Bafana will visit Congo next month. And where is the match? At Point Noir a place South Africa doesn't have such fond memories of.

This is where they had to train at the hotel lawn, were confronted by soldiers when trying to use the field for training and on match day and Mark Fish was left looking like a boxer who had gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson after the match.

And then they face them in the return leg here at home.

On the other hand, Nigeria have two matches against Sudan, who have proved to be the whipping boys of Group A. So by the end of October, the scenario might have changed dramatically.

Such are the intricacies of this beautiful game called football.

But, by this weekend, most of this will be pushed to the back of the mind as Premier Soccer League action returns.

Focus will be on Kaizer Chiefs who have won all their games going into their Saturday encounter against the University of Pretoria.

Orlando Pirates who meet Chiefs in the MTN8 final next Saturday, will be up against Bidvest Wits in the league and many will be dying to see if the Kermit Erasmus & Lehlohonolo Majoro show continues.

The two strikers have been red-hot for the Buccaneers.

And then there is the coaching sideshow. People can't wait to see who is the next coach to bite the dust. Three already have been shown the door, Cavin Johnson at SuperSport United, Boebie Solomons at Polokwane City and Kostadin Papic at Chippa United.

Who is next?

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer

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