Bafana book spot at Afcon 2015

2014-11-15 17:27

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Goals from Thulani Serero and Tokelo Rantie either side of halftime secured South Africa’s passage to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, beating Sudan 2-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban this afternoon.

Serero was instrumental in creating both, rounding off a move he began eight minutes before halftime, before turning supplier for Rantie, with a terrific through-ball which the striker buried high into the net eight minutes after the break.

The win sends Bafana Bafana soaring into an unassailable four-point lead at the top of group A.

Sixteen minutes of pure magic, in front of a pumped-up Durban crowd of more than 32 000, wrapped-up a hugely successful qualifying campaign in which South Africa are still unbeaten after five games.

Bafana stumbled late when Salah Ibrahim pulled one back for the visitors, after a lapse in defence allowed the striker to volley home from close range.

The goal made for a tense final 20 minutes, which belonged to Sudan. With 11 players behind the ball, Sudan were allowed to pay regular visits into the Bafana half, often troubling the hosts, who looked appropriately desperate at times.

Heading into the game without a goal on home soil in two previous qualifiers – against Nigeria and Congo-Brazzaville – South Africa could have notched-up as many as five more, were it not for some nervous touches at the last second.

A highly-emotional affair on a cold and cloudy Durban afternoon began with a minute’s silence in honour of former captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot and killed in Gauteng on October 26.

It was a deserved place at next year’s tournament for Shakes Mashaba and his troops, who celebrated as if they had won the World Cup after referee Mohamed Benouza blew the final whistle.

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