Adeus for Carlos?

South Africans could see Carlos ­Alberto Parreira on the Bafana Bafana bench for

the last time on Tuesday.

Bafana go into the last Group A match against France hoping

miracles still happen in football. And Parreira knows very well that nothing but

a convincing victory will mean the continuation of his tenure as head

coach.

If Bafana go out, South Africa would make history as the first host

to fail to advance to the second round of the tournament. The ­country is

already in the history books for being the first from the ­African continent to

host this event.

The Brazilian was brought back by the SA Football Association

specifically to steer the wheel in the World Cup, but with the Bafana campaign

coming to an end, it would mean ­“adeus” (goodbye)

to him.

Bafana’s chances of qualifying for the next round are almost zilch

as their fate is no longer in their hands. They would need a miracle to realise

their dream of advancing to the knockout – last 16 – stage.

After Bafana and France lost their matches against Uruguay and

­Mexico, respectively, they need a high-scoring margin against each other if

they are to book a place in the next stage.

A draw between Uruguay and Mexico would mean the end of the road

for Bafana and France.

The two countries can still qualify for the knockout phase of the

World Cup on goal ­difference if either Mexico or Uruguay lose, but both of

these sides have a far superior goal difference to Bafana.

Parreira’s side need to win by at least a 3-0 margin and hope

Uruguay beat Mexico by the same margin. After failing to score against Uruguay,

let alone creating ­scoring ­opportunities, expecting them to put three past the

1998 world champions is asking for the impossible if their performance against

Uruguay is anything to go by.

Bafana players put on brave faces on Friday, saying anything was

possible in football.

Goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, who will man the poles in the absence

of the suspended Itumeleng Khune, said they still had hope.

Josephs said they were positive that they could still

qualify.

“It’s no longer in our hands, but ­anything is possible in

football. We just have to believe and see what happens on the day.

“Even if we don’t make it, we want to go out with a bang and there

will be no better way than to beat France,” said the Orlando ­Pirates’ No 1

goalie.

Even Teko Modise was positive yesterday, saying he was sure of a

victory over France, even if it may not be enough to take them through.

He said the most important thing was to finish on a high.

“It’s more about honour really ­because it is no longer in our

hands. But we will go there and do our best,” said Modise.

For Bafana to win convincingly, Parreira would have to be flexible

and ­deploy an attacking formation.

It hasn’t been a good outing for ­other African teams either, with

­Nigeria having lost two matches already.

But they still have a minimal chance of ­going through if they can

beat South Korea and hope Greece lose to ­Argentina, who are almost home and dry

after winning their opening two matches.

Algeria also have a chance if they win their last match against the

US after holding England to a 0-0 draw on Friday. In fact, any of the four Group

C teams – Algeria, England, USA and Slovenia – can still qualify.

 
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