CAF: Bafana not yet qualified

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Saturday that Bafana Bafana’s post-match celebrations were premature.

The Bafana players rejoiced after playing to a goalless draw in their final 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Group G qualifying match against Sierra Leone in Nelspruit.

The host team thought they had qualified for the tournament after Egypt beat Niger 3-0 in Cairo in a simultaneous fixture.

Interviewed on SABC 1 after the match, Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane praised his team for qualifying as did South African Football Association (Safa) President Kirsten Nematandani.

Live TV commentators also proclaimed the South Africans would compete in next year’s continental showpiece.

According to CAF, however, their 2-1 loss to Niger in Niamey last month would count ahead of goal difference and Bafana would progress to the qualifying playoffs.

Bafana’s performance in front of a near-capacity crowd was dreadful.

While a number of injuries to experienced players, including captain Steven Pienaar, had hampered the team’s preparation, this was their worst showing since Mosimane took over a year ago.

The South Africans ended the qualifying campaign first in the group standings with nine points and a better goal difference to both Niger and Sierra Leone, who finished with the same number of points.

Bafana were sluggish against the Leone Stars, and lacked cohesion, particularly in the crucial first 30 minutes of the match.

The visitors, on the other hand, looked sharper as their strike pairing of Mohamed and Teteh Bangura probed Bafana’s central defensive duo of Morgan Gould and Siyabonga Sangweni.

Not having an out-and-out left back left a gap on that side of defence, with right-footed Siboniso Gaxa producing a poor showing and getting caught out of position at times.

They had to wait until the 21st minute to make any meaningful attempt at goal, with Sangweni’s non-threatening header going wide, while captain Siphiwe Tshabalala’s cross after a good run a few minutes later found no-one in the box.

Sangweni pushed forward again in the 33rd minute before unleashing a shot that narrowly went over the bar before Tshabalala also made an attempt from the edge of the penalty area that sailed over the post.

Bafana’s top striker, Katlego Mphela, had a chance with a free kick outside the box that was easily saved by Sierra Leone goalkeeper Christian Caulker, and shortly before half-time he fluffed another shot following good play from midfielder Daylon Claasen.

At the start of the second period, Tshabalala found himself in the box with a scoring opportunity.

His attempted curler went wide of goal with Caulker beaten.

The Leone Stars were calculative in their play and their strategy of pumping crosses to their burly forwards while curbing offensive play from Bafana.

Midfielder Rodney Strasser managed to rise above the Bafana defence 10 minutes into the second half, catching them napping from a corner kick, only for the header to go narrowly wide.

The key moment of the match, though, came in the 70th minute when Bafana keeper Itumeleng Khunes made a blinding punch after a long-range effort from winger Sheriff Suma. — Sapa

Staff Reporter
Guest Author

Workers fight job-creation ‘mess’

Former Ekurhuleni workers argued in court that a programme promising to equip them with skills simply acted as a labour broker for the municipality

Court dissolves local municipality

Landmark judgment paves the way for South Africans to use legal system to hold councils responsible

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.