Johannesburg - South Africa will start their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign at home to Ethiopia on the weekend of June 2/3, 2012.
This was confirmed after the Ethiopians defeated Somalia 5-0 in their preliminary round qualifier in Addis Ababa on Wednesday to complete an aggregate victory by the same scoreline.
Ethiopia took a fifth-minute lead through Omod Okwury, before two goals in three second half minutes from Shimeles Bekele sealed the fate of the Somalis. Getaneh Kebede added a pair of late goals for the home side.
The Walya Antelopes had been in some disarray going into the tie after Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet walked out on them just two weeks before the first leg, citing differences with the Ethiopian Football Association over what he termed “broken promises”.
Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane now knows the line-up for Group A, with neighbours Botswana and Central African Republic the other two teams in the pool.
Although South Africa will be favourites to advance to the next stage of qualifying as pool winners, he will not be relishing the away days that have been particularly poor for the national side over the last few years.
Bafana have not won a competitive fixture away from home since a 1-0 success in Equatorial Guinea in October 2008.
Bafana’s World Cup qualifier fixtures:
01-05/06/12: South Africa v Ethiopia
08-12/06/12: Botswana v South Africa
22-26/03/13: South Africa v Central African Republic
07-11/06/13: Central African Republic v South Africa
14-18/06/13: Ethiopia v South Africa
06-10/09/13: South Africa v Botswana