Congratulations to Bafana Bafana - the South African
senior men's soccer team for the demolition job
they did on Angola beating the 4-1 in a two-legged World Cup qualifier.
After a 3-1 annihilation of the opposition away, the
South African team only managed a narrow 1-0 victory at Moses Mabhida Stadium
on Tuesday night.
This should be a worrying factor for coach Shakes
Mashaba as the team's home form continues to be below oar when compared to
their performances away from home.
Even during their qualification for the last Africa
Cup of Nations (AFCON), Bafana Bafana dished out glittering performances away
from home but struggled on home soil.
This is one aspect of the game that Mashaba needs to
The win over Angola means that South Africa now
proceeds to the African Group stages of the World Cup Qualifiers.
Here, they are one of 20 teams that will be divided
into five groups of four teams each. They will then play in a round-robin and
the five countries that finish on top of their Group, will represent Africa in
Russia in 2018.
It now gets tougher. Unlike in the preliminary round
where Bafana Bafana had the luck to draw a country from Southern Africa,
competition is now tougher as there are countries from all regions of the
Just as it has been in the past, this stage is
dominated by West and North Africa much as we saw some shock results,
particularly in the first round.
South Africa and Zambia are the only two survivors
from the Southern African region.
It is indeed going to be touch for Bafana Bafana to
qualify for the World Cup finals, a feat they last achieved when they made it
to Korea/Japan in 2002. That's more than a decade!
They failed to make it to Germany in 2006, only made
2010 as hosts, making history by becoming the first host country to be knocked
out of the first round and stumbled along the way thus failing to reach Brazil
Rather than crow, as he did after the first round win
against Angola when he said: "I want them (the monkeys) to sit on my back.. I don’t want them
to jump off, please. Because the weight they are putting on keeps me on toes. Because
I'm also saying that I've got to feed these monkeys. And how do you make them
think, you deliver - that's all."
rather concentrate on ensuring that he qualifies the team for both the 2017
Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup, which are his main mandates.
will shut-up his detractors more than hi m having to do it himself verbally.
By the way,
there is still a small monkey, if you excuse the pun of the Afcon qualifiers
that will happen before the World Cup Qualifiers resume next October.
And just a
reminder, Bafana Bafana had a bad start in the Afcon qualifiers having already
played to a goalless draw with Gambia at home and losing 3-1 to Mauritania.
They still have to face Cameroon twice.
So its early
days for Mashaba to start shooting his mouth.
Luck to Orlando Pirates when they take on Etoile du Sahel in the first leg of
the CAF Confederation Cup final on Saturday!
The 20 African countries that have qualified for the
Group stage are: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Libya, Egypt,
Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria,
Senegal, Cape Verde, Tunisia, South
Africa, Guinea, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Morocco, Gabon, Uganda, Zambia and Congo (Brazzaville).
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.
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