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Bafana Bafana: Five things we learnt from failed World Cup campaign

7:16 pm AEDT 15/11/21
Rushine De Reuck & Victor Letsoalo, Bafana Bafana, October 2021
In a tight game in West Africa, the home side slotted home a 33rd minute-penalty which allowed them to finish above SA after scoring more goals in the qualifiers.

Bafana Bafana were pipped to the post right at the end of their campaign by Ghana, who won 1-0 at the Cape Coast Stadium to book their spot in the final qualifying round.

  • Bafana Bafana team vs Zimbabwe 3 September 2021

    Tightest of margins

    The history book will show South Africa failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. Ghana, meanwhile, still need to win their final round of qualifiers, a home and away fixture against one of the other nine group winners.

    At the top level, the margins between success can however be incredibly small – in the end it came down to goals scored – after Ghana and South Africa has been locked on 13 points each and had an equal goal difference, the fact that the Black Stars scored seven goals from their six Group G qualifiers, versus Bafana’s six, saw them through. It was bitterly disappointing for South Africa, but the players can hold their heads high.

    GOAL takes a look at what we learnt from Sunday’s game in Cape Coast, and from the qualification campaign as a whole.

  • Rushine De Reuck vs Ghana Bafana Bafana

    Experience still needed

    There were some moments when Bafana’s naivety was evident against Ghana, and conversely, the Black Stars’ superior experience and ‘street smarts’ helped carry them through. Bafana could have done with a couple more older heads just to settle things.

  • Keagan Dolly Rushine De Reuck

    VAR a must

    If VAR had been in play, South Africa may well have been playing in the final round of qualifiers instead of Ghana. Because when one looks at the penalty awarded for Rushine De Reuck’s alleged foul on Daniel Armatey, it’s very difficult to see how the spot kick would have stood up to the scrutiny of a Video Assistant Referee.

  • Keagan Dolly Percy Tau Bafana

    Dolly should have started

    The omission of Keagan Dolly from the starting XI on Sunday proved costly. He’s arguably South Africa’s best attacker on current form and could have injected forward momentum and confidence into the Bafana side, and forced Ghana to focus on their own defence rather than relentlessly attacking the visitors.

  • Terrence Mashego Ismael Wadi

    Mashego takes his chance

    The left-back slot has been up for grabs and several players have had their chances their. However, in the last two games, Cape Town City defender Terrence Mashego was given the nod to start, and he impressed with a couple of superb performances; just 23-years-old, he looks a seriously exciting prospect at international level.

  • Hugo Broos Bafana

    New beginnings

    Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos had his doubters when he was appointed by Safa, after a lengthy wait following the sacking of Molefi Ntseki.

    When Broos came in and made sweeping changes, selecting a bunch of young untested players from some of the PSL’s smaller clubs, more questions were asked.

    But despite the failure to qualify, it was an excellent campaign for the South Africans who have managed to restore some lost pride and Broos certainly deserves more time to work with this group.