Ethiopia win ‘cheers’ Bafana
SA captain Steven Pienaar (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Considering the national soccer team’s ongoing winless plight and early struggle in their World Cup 2014 qualifying group, Bafana Bafana and their long-suffering supporters will grab any crumb of comfort they can at present.
It arguably came on Sunday when, in the other African Group A fixture of the weekend, Ethiopia saw off the Central African Republic 2-0 in Addis Ababa, courtesy of a goal in each half by Saladin Seid - also scorer of their goal in the 1-1 result against Bafana in
While the outcome takes the Ethiopians to the top of the table with four points from two games, had the visitors won they would have held a runaway lead as the group reached its “first third” mark, with six points. (The equatorial side had started their campaign with a promising enough 2-0 home triumph over Botswana, the latest team to frustrate Bafana in Gaborone on Saturday.)
Such a scenario would have seen now second-placed Central African Republic already tidily out of reach of Bafana, with a four-point cushion - quite some tonic to take into the successive meetings between the two countries in the first half of next year.
Instead South Africa, sporting two points and lying third, can at least say they remain in touch with the two sides immediately above them, as they are two points shy of Ethiopia and one adrift of Central African Republic.
The last thing Bafana need, considering their own sluggish start to what had initially seemed a kind group for them, is for one team to soar away on their own, bearing in mind that only the group winners will advance to a chance of cracking the nod for
The Zebras of Botswana bring up the rear at present with one point, courtesy of their credible result against South Africa on Saturday.Here are Bafana’s remaining Group A fixtures (all next year):
March 22: Central African Republic (h)
June 7: Central African Republic (a)
June 14: Ethiopia (a)
September 6: Botswana (h)