Bafana Bafana

Bafana expected to reap rewards from SAFA's home 'buy'

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
South African coach Molefi Ntseki speaks to players during the International Friendly match between South Africa and Zambia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium (Gallo Images)
South African coach Molefi Ntseki speaks to players during the International Friendly match between South Africa and Zambia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium (Gallo Images)
  • SAFA has effectively bought a second home game for Bafana Bafana against lowly Sao Tome and Principe
  • The soccer governing body will bear the expenses for both AFCON qualifying matches.
  • Bafana are expected to bag six valuable points from the two encounters.


The South African Football Association (SAFA), it can be categorised, has effectively bought a second home game for Bafana Bafana against lowly Sao Tome and Principe when qualifiers for the 2022 African Cup of Nations resume, with both games against the 182nd world-ranked nation on Friday and Monday due to be staged in South Africa.

The curious, unusual arrangement, in which SAFA will bear the expenses for both matches in which six points are presumably seen as a valid pay-out, has been credited to the grim coronavirus pandemic, with spectators still a no-go for the encounters.

However, cynics, no doubt, will note also with a degree of Sherlock Holmes detection that Sao Tome and Principe have a reputation of being a lot tougher nut to crack at home than when playing away - demonstrated by the fact that in previous 2022 qualifying games the present South African visitors only lost 1-0 to the tough Ghana combination at home, but were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by the less formidable Sudan on foreign soil.

Be that as it may, Bafana have already lost their away leg to Ghana and might find it difficult shading the West Africans for top place in their qualifying section.

But the two top teams for each of the qualifying groups will be marching off to Cameroon for the 24-team finals and six points and a handy number of goals from the Sao Tome and Principe games at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday (21:00) and the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Monday (15:00)  will do Bafana nicely.

The current standings in Bafana's group after two rounds have Ghana in top position with six points from their two matches, followed by South Africa and Sudan with three points and Sao Tome and Principe yet to open their tally and needing something of a miracle to make it to the AFCON Finals - otherwise, presumably, they would not have agreed to play both games against Bafana away.

As for Bafana, even if they manage to compile six points from Sao Tome and Principe, they will probably still need to glean a point or two against Ghana (home) and Sudan (away) when the CAF qualifiers are completed in March.

And, who knows, the issue might ironically be decided on goals and this is where two home games against Sao Tome and Principe might be just what the doctor ordered.

Meanwhile, while Bafana have been somewhat depleted for the Sao Tome and Principe games through injuries and the coronavirus, this has been more than off-set by the arrival of key overseas-based players Dean Furman (England), Percy Tau (Belgium) and Keagan Dolly (France).

 
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9892 votes
Cricket
11% - 2654 votes
Football
19% - 4474 votes
Athletics
2% - 588 votes
Boxing
1% - 219 votes
Cycling
2% - 549 votes
Golf
5% - 1172 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1975 votes
Tennis
3% - 802 votes
Water sports
1% - 212 votes
American sports
1% - 293 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 757 votes
Vote