Bafana Bafana

Bafana fly under the radar to set unbeaten record

2017-03-28 11:42
Eleazar Rodgers of Bafana (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ever heard the one about Bafana Bafana celebrating after "qualifying" for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations - only to realise later that they had fallen short?

The South African national soccer team have in recent times been the butt of many jokes and have often made international headlines for all the wrong reasons.

While the Springboks and Proteas are often celebrated as national treasures, Bafana Bafana are often seen as a metaphor for mediocrity or how sports minister, Fikile Mbalula subtly put it, "a bunch of losers".

However, Bafana - who are currently without a permanent head coach - have managed to churn out an impressive run of results and set a new 16-game unbeaten record after recording a 3-1 win over Guinea-Bissau last Saturday!

At present, the Proteas have their backs against the wall in the deciding third Test in New Zealand, while the Springboks sunk to record lows in 2016.

Bafana have merrily flown under the radar in setting a new record unbeaten streak, breaking the old mark (15 games) set between September 1994 to January 1996.

Although being notorious for failing to qualifying for major tournaments, the last being the 2015 AFCON and before then the 2002 Soccer World Cup (Bafana did not have to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, 2013 AFCON and 2014 CHAN tournaments, all of which SA hosted), Bafana surprisingly last tasted defeat in October 2015 to, ironically, Angola, who they face in a friendly on Tuesday evening.

This statistic has left fans scratching their heads while asking: "So what was the problem with Shakes Mashaba?"

During their unbeaten run, Bafana Bafana faced some strong opposition and recorded impressive results against the likes of Ghana, Egypt and Senegal.

BAFANA’S 16-GAME UNBEATEN RUN

24/10/15 (a) v Angola 2-1 (CHAN qualifier)
13/11/15 (a) v Angola 3-1 (World Cup qualifier)
17/11/15 (h) v Angola 1-0 (World Cup qualifier)
26/03/16 (a) v Cameroon 2-2 (Nations Cup qualifier)
29/03/16 (h) v Cameroon 0-0 (Nations Cup qualifier)
05/06/16 (a) v Gambia 4-0 (Nations Cup qualifier)
18/06/16 (a) v Lesotho 1-1 (COSAFA Castle Cup)
22/06/16 (a) v Swaziland 5-1 (COSAFA Castle Cup)
25/06/16 (a) v Botswana 3-2 (COSAFA Castle Cup)  
02/09/16 (h) v Mauritania 1-1 (Nations Cup qualifier)
06/09/16 (h) v Egypt 1-0 (Friendly)
08/10/16 (a) v Burkina Faso 1-1 (World Cup qualifier)
11/10/16 (h) v Ghana 1-1 (Friendly)
12/11/16 (h) v Senegal 2-1 (World Cup qualifier)
16/11/16 (a) v Mozambique 1-1 (Friendly)
25/03/17 (h) v Guinea-Bissau 3-1 (Friendly)

Interim coach Owen da Gama can extend his side's record when they host Angola at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Tuesday.

Kick-off is at 19:00.

Read more on:    safa  |  bafana bafana  |  shakes mashaba  |  soccer
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