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Saturday, July 13, 2024

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    BAFANA Bafana has put themselves in a tight corner after failing to win two opening games at the Africa Cup of Nations. They will need a miracle to advance to the knockout stages.

    Their chances of qualifying are hanging by a thread – odds heavily stacked against them – considering their lack of a killer instinct in front of goal.

    Bafana will need to beat Ghana on Tuesday and hope for a favourable result in the other Group C game between Senegal and Algeria.

    The best case scenario for Bafana would be for Senegal to beat Algeria which would mean any sort of win for Bafana over Ghana would put them through.

    If Algeria beat Senegal, and Bafana win, it would come down to who has the better goal difference between South Africa and the Teranga Lions. A draw between Senegal and Algeria would leave Bafana out of the competition, whatever they achieve against Ghana.

    Though they have shown signs of improvement from previous tournaments, they still make things difficult for themselves. Bafana should have taken their chances and disposed of Algeria in the opening game and they also wasted further opportunities against Senegal on Friday.

    Bafana need to hold on to their advantage. They took the lead against Algeria but eventually lost the game 3-1. It was the same story against Senegal as they went ahead just after the restart but conceded an equaliser.

    “It is a work in progress and we will get it right. The good thing is that we are creating chances and in the two games we’ve played so far we’ve been brilliant.

    “One team is going to pay dearly because the day we are going to score it won’t be less than five goals,” said Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba.

    “We have the players to see us through and they have shown in the two games that they can compete.

    “All we need to do is to change here and there; especially our defenders need to learn to advance with the ball than to hoof it forward. They need to give us numerical advantage going forward. But this is something we will be working on.

    He continued: “Anything is possible and it can be done. We have seen Ghana and we can match them.

    “If they come and try to play us at our game, we will kill them. My only worry is when they come at us with their physical power because we don’t know how to retaliate.”


    A win for Bafana will see them through to the knockout stages if Senegal beat Algeria.

    If Bafana wins and Algeria draws (they will both be on four points), Bafana will lose out because of head to head

    If Bafana wins and Algeria also wins, goal difference will separate Bafana and Senegal.

    Group C


    Image Credit: NedbankSport

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