Bafana ship in murky waters

2011-09-10 18:18

Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has refused to throw in the towel on the team’s chances of qualifying for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

While the team may not qualify for the second successive tournament, Mosimane remains optimistic.
Bafana’s fate is no longer in their hands, but they might still make it.

A few things have to happen for Bafana to qualify:
» Victory over Sierra Leone at home on October 7 is a must;

» Egypt, now using their under-23 players and at the bottom of the group, must beat leaders Niger at home.

If the Pharaohs beat Niger, Bafana can still afford a draw at home and move to nine points, which will tie them with Niger. They will then proceed as they have a better head-to-head record over Niger from their matches.

Bafana have no chance of qualifying through the back door as one of the two best ­
runners-up.

Bafana are at Egypt’s mercy and will be hoping that the North Africans not only maintain their unbeaten record at home but beat Niger.

While the chances of Egypt doing Bafana a favour look slim, it is difficult to fathom the five-time African champions going out without a single win.

They have lost all three of their away games so far and drew their two home matches against Sierra Leone and Bafana.

Mosimane says: “In six years they have not lost at home and I don’t see Niger beating them. Even though they are using the junior team, they are not a bad side.”

What makes next month’s games even more interesting is the fact that Sierra Leone still has a chance of booking a place in the finals.

A victory for the Leone Stars and a defeat for Niger will see the former amass 11 points and thus top the group, which will mean they will qualify for the tournament.
Mosimane said he would still be proud of his team even if they didn’t make it to the finals of this Caf event.

“Except for the loss against Niger, everything went according to plan and even if we don’t make it, we would have done our best and will go out with our heads held high.”

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