Bafana Bafana

Can Bafana reach its potential?

2014-12-01 14:11
Bongani Zungu (Supplied)
Bongani Zungu (Supplied)
Cape Town - Qualification to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with an undefeated record: Check. South Africa's Coach of the Year leading the revolution: Check. A blend of youth and experience finally reaching its potential: Check, check and double check. A first major title since 1996: Watch this space.

With Bafana Bafana flying as high as they ever have before, it's easy for South Africans to start getting excited about next year's Equatorial Guinea showpiece, and rightfully so.

The Boys have looked close to their very best during the recent AFCON qualifying campaign, winning three and drawing three of their six qualifying matches, while they had actually already secured their place in the tournament proper even before their final group match against defending champions Nigeria.

And, as if those results weren't enough to get the juices flowing, this past weekend saw a supposedly weakened Bafana cruise to a convincing 2-0 win over the Ivory Coast to lift the Nelson Mandela Challenge trophy in Mbombela, wrestling back the crown they lost to the Super Eagles in 2013.

So, while the guaranteed starters for South Africa are in little doubt, the fact that the likes of Erick Mathoho, Brilliant Khuzwayo, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Jabulani Shongwe - to name but a few - were not even part of the Challenge squad, the future is, indeed, looking brighter than it has for some time.

And, shortly after this weekend's match, Mashaba was lifting another title, having been named the Coach of the Year at the 2014 South African Sports Awards, an honour the tactician quite rightly deserves.

So, the question now on the tip of all South Africans tongues will be whether the Green and Gold can proudly fly the flag at AFCON 2015 and replicate their 1996 success on home soil, and given their down right impressive form this year, there's no reason to believe otherwise.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  soccer

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Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

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