Why Bafana Bafana will defy the odds and qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations

FILE - SA could miss out on Afcon qualification. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - SA could miss out on Afcon qualification. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Mar 27, 2023


Cape Town — South Africa have seemingly turned what appeared to be one the easiest ways to qualify for a Africa Cup of Nations tournament into an anxiety-filled mess.

Bafana Bafana’s calamitous final 20 minutes against Liberia last week has thrown their chances of qualifying into the negatives, as they face an uphill battle in needing to secure their spot away in Monrovia.

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Head Hugo Broos and his charges will need to rid themselves of the emotional turmoil of the last encounter if they are to defy the odds when the two team face each other again on Tuesday at 6pm.

The clearly tempestuous nature of both Bafana and the South African public towards the upcoming match offers a great deal of pessimism from what was a good display by Bafana in the opening 70 minutes match.

Although it would be incredibly hard to admit, Bafana are still the favourites against a Liberia team ranked 150th in the world.

Although guilty for not being able to finish the job, the likes of Themba Zwane, Percy Tau and Lyle Forster showed the difference in quality from the onset last time out.

Bafana registered 17 goal attempts, but kept only five of them on target, an indication of their ability to carve out opportunities against Liberia but with the inability to convert them, a trait the forwards could fix in their next outing.

If not for an unexpected late resurgence from the Lone Stars, Bafana were clearly coasting to an easy victory.

Bafana’s travelling squad will also be boosted by the experience of some of their biggest stars.

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Of the 23 man travelling contingent, only five players have no prior experience of playing continental football or playing abroad, which should bode well for Bafana under what is expected to be hostile conditions.

The Mamelodi Sundowns representatives have already shown their guile in two matches against Egyptian giants Al Ahly and if they are to influence their psychological know-how, half the mission will be achieved by Bafana.

Bafana are more than capable of defying the odds and qualifying for next year’s Afcon, but only if they play to their full potential.


IOL Sport