/ 14 October 2009

Bafana continue losing run

Despite the promise of new Safa president Kirstin Nematandani on Tuesday to give beleaguered Bafana Bafana head coach Joel Santana another month to pull the national team out of his slump there will be calls for the Brazilian’s head after a 1-0 loss to Iceland on Tuesday.

The only goal was scored by Viegar Pall Gunnarsson in the 50th minute.

Once again Santana has shown he is out of his depth and will be lucky to survive the axe before Bafana host Japan on November 14 at the Orlando Stadium and Jamaica in Bloemfontein three days later.

Nematandani said he would wait for the report of the three assessors, Clive Barker, Jomo Sono and Gavin Hunt after the Jamaica friendly. The three ”wise men” were appointed by Safa last week to give their report card on Bafana but it does not take a rocket scientist to see what is wrong and that Santana needs a one way ticket to Brazil.

After losing to Norway also 1-0 in Oslo last weekend, Santana cannot expect more patience from Safa or unhappy Bafana supporters.

Santana has had more than enough chances to pull Bafana right and he has failed and should be shown the door as soon as possible.

Santana persisted with his ultra defensive formation utilising his outdated two defensive midfielders in Macbeth Sibaya and Kagisho Dikgacoi against Iceland who are ranked 96th in the world and who finished bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.

Iceland showed they are no world beaters but neither did Bafana and after this shocker Santana and his players needed to answer some hard questions.

The defensive strategy has failed time and again. It backfired badly against mediocre Norway and again against Iceland.

Bafana lost the plot in midfield where once again playmaker Teko Modise was left wanting in a first half where neither side looked interested in scoring. Both side created a couple of half chances in an uninspiring opening 45 minutes.

After Iceland went ahead five minutes after the restart through Gunnarsson, Bafana again looked like a team without any direction.

This is Santana and Bafana’s eighth loss in nine games since the Confederations Cup in June.

Bafana looked down and lacked fighting spirit. They again played with little passion and will to win. If Bafana continue with their slide they are going to become the laughing stock of the World Cup to be hosted on home soil next June. — Sapa