Bafana Bafana’s chances of playing at next year’s World Cup are pretty much over.
After a week in which they were humbled twice by minnows Cape Verde, Fifa landed another shot in the balls.
Now, instead of games against Burkina Faso and Senegal, South Africa have to play the Lions of Teranga twice after the world football body ordered that their match be replayed.
Bafana won their first meeting 2-1 in controversial fashion when referee Joseph Lamptey handed SA a penalty for a non-existent handball.
Lamptey has since been banned for unlawfully influencing the game for Bafana’s only qualifying win so far.
And after seeing just how blunt their attack looked against Cape Verde, Bafana look incapable of beating a team featuring the likes of Liverpool ace Sadio Mane this time around.
Arme coach Stuart Baxter must be cursing his luck.
Aside from Afcon qualifying win over Nigeria in June, there hasn’t been much to celebrate.
Plus any number of defeats will expose the Bafana coach. And already the question if he is the right man for the job is being asked.
It certainly didn’t look like it after the last two games. Bafana lacked a creative spark in most recent qualifiers.
But the boss still managed to field teams with little attacking threat in the clashes.
He may have picked two players up front in both matches – with Tokelo Rantie being partnered by Lebo Manyama and Bradley Grobler – but the manne behind them failed to create quality opportunities.
It also doesn’t help when the chances comes and the effort is poor. But what can you say about goalscorers in SA?
Maybe Safa should think about bringing in a Mark Williams or Shaun Bartlett to add to Aaron Mokoena, Quinton Fortune and Andre Arendse in the backroom – that way they have a mentor for strikers too.
The wider midfielders tried to cut in too often, leaving the overlapping defender to put in the crosses. But the boss found that Tebogo Langerman, Sifiso Hlanti and Ramahlwe Mphahlele were not up to the task.
The manne who made the room for them to come up the flank, Keagan Dolly-hulle, sukkelled to make the chances once they went in-field.
And then there was the midfield. Two holding midfielders really hurts your chances of carving out openings in your opposition’s defence.
Add Wayne Sandilands’ ridiculous effort to save Garry Rodrigues’ freekick for the first goal in Durban and you have two very bad selections and performances by Baxter’s manne.
You can’t point the finger at one man in this instance and when things are going bad, they are likely to get worse.
And it has. If they carry on like this, there is a bigger chance of Bafana going winless in the campaign than there is of them getting a goal.