Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Bafana crash out of Afcon as Ghana and Algeria advance

South Africa were sent crashing out of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after relinquishing a one-goal lead for a third match in a row against Ghana in Mongomo on Tuesday night, losing 2-1.

Mandla Masango had sent Bafana Bafana into the lead after 17 minutes with a wonder-strike from the edge of the area in Equatorial Guinea, but John Boye’s equaliser on 73 minutes was all it took to condemn the South Africans to bottom of group C.

But there was more misery to come for Shakes Mashaba and his outfit when Andre Ayew scored the winner seven minutes from the end, ending South Africa’s campaign with a single point from three outings.

Masango was one of four changes by Mashaba, who named Brilliant Khuzwayo in goal – a third goalkeeper in as many matches – while Bongani Ndulula started ahead of Sibusiso Vilakazi, and Rivaldo Coetzee was back in the team ahead of Thulani Hlatshwayo, who was out with concussion.

A deflated South African team limped to full-time as Ghana bagged a vital win on a night when permutations dictated that all eyes were on the second game of the group, where Algeria ran out 2-0 winners over Senegal.

Frailties at the back
Senegal could have done South Africa a favour by beating Algeria in that game, but even if West Africans could have managed the feat, Bafana’s defeat sealed Ghana’s progression, Algeria topping the group with a superior goal-difference over the Black Stars.

With Algeria winning by two goals, South Africa would have progressed to the next stage had they held on to their 1-0 scoreline, but it was not to be for a Bafana outfit that had gone six games unbeaten in the Afcon qualification tournament.

As with the opening two fixtures against Algeria and Senegal, Bafana were the first to score but frailties at the back allowed Ghana to come storming back, as South Africa’s back line was exposed and ultimately cost the country a place in the knockout rounds.

A nervy start had South Africa on the back foot from the first whistle, but when Masango netted a fantastic snap-shot volley with 17 minutes on the clock, hopes of an unlikely qualification out of a tough group looked a realistic prospect.

News had already filtered in that Algeria had stolen the lead in the other game in Malabo, which kicked off simultaneously, when Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring after 11 minutes.

That set South Africa up for a nervous finish where a second goal would have wrapped up the group, but once Ghana showed their class and took second place in the group when Senegal looked favourites to do so.

Lacked killer instinct
Bafana’s performance in the second half lacked killer instinct and the team looked like one holding on for dear life, instead of searching for a second.

Boye needed little encouragement when he netted Ghana’s first, which had looked on the cards for some time.

Not long after, Ayew put the result to bed with his header which Khuzwayo was no match for as a disappointing tournament came to an end for the 1996 champions.

Meanwhile, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said Bafana’s departure from Afcon should not be an opportunity for sadness but one of reflection,

“The journey to Afcon is filled with memories of great individual and collective prowess,” he said in a statement.

“Like in any journey one takes you gain or lose, you make honest reflections, build on and consolidate for the future.

Next round
From nearly out to group winners, Ghana will now face the second-place team in Group D on Sunday in Malabo. Algeria will play the Group D winner on the same day and at the same stadium.

All four teams in Group D, including the Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, still have a chance to qualify. The Ivorians will face Cameroon on Wednesday in Malabo while Mali plays Guinea in Mongomo.

“I think with this team we can face any team in this competition,” Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan said. – Sapa, Staff reporter

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Section 25: ANC snubs EFF after negotiations impasse

The ANC is searching for alternatives to end months of negotiations with the EFF on the land question

Allies warned Ace against taking his party to court

Magashule is expected to argue that the step-aside rule 25.7 is unconstitutional and unlawful

More top stories

Section 25: ANC snubs EFF after negotiations impasse

The ANC is searching for alternatives to end months of negotiations with the EFF on the land question

Allies warned Ace against taking his party to court

Magashule is expected to argue that the step-aside rule 25.7 is unconstitutional and unlawful

KZN education ‘capture’ claims against Morar persist

Whistleblower says more tender procedures have been bypassed in favour of connected auditor

The trouble with clamouring for the Constitutional Court to rule...

Despite the public interest in the ruling, the commission’s deadline has become irrelevant as it abandoned hope of forcing the former president to testify
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×