Bafana Bafana proved that they could perform under pressure this weekend.

And now they need to do it twice more to book a spot at the World Cup next year.

So often we criticise our national soccer team for failing to pitch up when it matters.

But Saturday's 3-1 win over Burkina Faso put South Africa’s destiny on the road to Russia firmly in their own hands - beat Senegal home and away next month and dan is ons binne innie World Cup.

What Bafana did right at Soccer City was rise to the occasion and take their opportunities.

They were 3-0 up at the break and that was down to good work in between the lines of the the Burkinabe’s defence.

Here is where coach Stuart Baxter got it right with his call to play midfielder Andile Jali and forward Percy Tau from the start.

Both manne have made vital contributions off the bench in the past and were two of the most effective performers in the two disappointing defeats to Cape Verde recently.

But this time, they made the difference from the first whistle, attacking the free space in front of the visitors’ defence.

It’s the crucial area, where Baxter’s manne will have to be at the top of their game when they host the Lions of Teranga on November 10 and travel to Dakar for the return four days later for their final match.

And the boss has urged his team to take those chances get Bafana back to the World Cup for the first time since they hosted the tournament in 2010.

Baxter says: “If we can knock Senegal over here [on November 10 in Polokwane] then we will take it to the wire.

“We will put pressure on everybody else. We are the ones now that maybe can sneak it through the back door.

“They have the pressure on them and they don’t want to throw it away.

“I am going to use that with the players and tell them to take that last chance - be as focused as you were against Burkina Faso, make up for any losses and don’t think about it as a negative, but as a chance for you to be a hero.”

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