Bafana Bafana

Defeat leaves Bafana's SWC dream in tatters

2017-09-05 21:02
Andile Jali (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia lie in tatters after they suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to the Cape Verde Islands at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. 

As it happened: South Africa v Cape Verde Islands

South Africa started out in an attacking frame of mind and controlled possession in the early stages.

A dangerous Keagan Dolly cross in the 3rd minute unfortunately found no one in the box while captain, Hlompho Kekana saw his long range effort in the 7th minute drift wide of the posts. 

In the 8th minute Tokelo Rantie had a chance to grab the lead for the home side, but he could only shoot tamely at the keeper after he was setup by striking partner, Bradly Grobler. 

Cape Verde had their first chance in the 13th minute when Marco Soares saw his shot saved by Wayne Sandilands.

Kekana had another effort sail over the bar in the 21st minute as the home side continued to control possession. 

In the final fifteen minutes of the first half, South Africa had two excellent chances to grab the lead.

First Grobler was guilty of a poor header after Sifiso Hlanti found him in acres of space in the 30th minute and then Kekana almost scored with a brilliant free-kick that just didn't dip enough and caught the top of the net in the 35th minute.

Despite close to 59% of the possession in the first half, Bafana could not break the deadlock before half-time with both teams deadlocked at 0-0.

The second half saw Cape Verde have an early chance but indecision between their players ruined any chance of a goal after South Africa's defence was caught in disarray. 

Rantie then went close for the home side as he saw his shot fly just wide of the target in an entertaining opening to the half. 

And then Cape Verde silenced the crowd at Moses Mabhida with a free-kick of the highest quality by Garry Rodrigues which swerved over the wall and wrong-footed Sandilands to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute. 

Stuart Baxter immediately made a change, sending on Lebogang Manyama in a search for an immediate equaliser.

But it was Cape Verde who came close to doubling their lead when Ryan Mendes blasted over in the 62nd minute when hitting the target seemed easier to do. 

After Grobler saw his shot deflected, he was replaced in the 64th minute by Andile Jali but before the substitute had even had a chance to get into the game, Rodrigues produced another long range stunner that fizzed passed Sandilands to make the score 2-0 in favour of the visitors.

Jali managed to grab a goal back in the 89th minute but despite concerted pressure from the home side, Cape Verde held on for the win.

South Africa can now only end on 10 points in their group if they register wins in their last two games against against Burkina Faso and Senegal and even that might not be enough. 

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