'Downward spiral' since 1996 for Bafana, says Doc Khumalo

2019-06-27 11:50
Doctor Khumalo (Supplied)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana legend Doctor Khumalo believes that the national team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opening defeat to Ivory Coast is further evidence of a downward spiral since 1996.

READ: 5 things Bafana need to fix ahead of Namibia clash

An abysmal performance in their 1-0 loss to the West African giants were only spared further embarrassment due to brilliant goalkeeping in the closing minutes by Ronwen Williams.

The result means Stuart Baxter's charges must get a result against Namibia on Friday to stand a realistic chance of advancing out of Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

"It is such a pity that Bafana Bafana lost their opening match of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, against Ivory Coast," Khumalo, who won the AFCON in 1996 with Bafana, told Soccer Laduma.

"I wish them everything of the best in their second and very crucial game against Namibia on Friday. I really hope the boys will make it past the group stages and see what happens in the knockout stages.

"When you analyse Bafana Bafana's performances in this tournament since 1996, you'll realise that we've been on a sort of a downward spiral.

"We won it in 1996, lost in the final two years later and we started deteriorating from being eliminated in the group stages and then we failed to reach the group stages.

"As if that wasn't enough, we started not qualifying at all and that speaks volumes about our performances over the years." 

He added: "Having said that, I should say that as much as we don't have many overseas-based players plying their trade in big leagues, we still expect our national team to do better.

"If you cast your mind back to 1996, you will remember that we only had a handful of players in that squad who were based overseas, with the rest of the team comprised of locally-based players."

Bafana Bafana face-off against neighbours Namibia on Friday (kick-off at 22:00 SA time) before tackling Morocco on Monday evening.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2019  |  doctor khumalo  |  soccer


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