Bafana's World Cup dream over after Senegal loss

Doug Mendoza
November 13, 2017

Against expectations‚ Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has revealed his hand early and released is starting XI for Friday night's must-win World Cup qualifier against Senegal‚ with Lebogang Manyama starting.

South Africa defeated Senegal 2-1 in Polokwane last November, but Federation Internationale de Football Association ordered a replay because of "match manipulation" by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who was banned for life.

Burkina Faso now occupy second place on six points, while Cape Verde, also on six points, are third.

The result ensured an unassailable 11 points for Senegal after five games, helping them qualify for their second World Cup finals, their first since Korea/Japan 2002.

"Our coach stressed before the match the importance of qualifying for the World Cup and we gave everything throughout the match".

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This only means that come Friday's encounter and the return leg in Dakar, Bafana will need to put aside all their off-the-field problems aside and be at their absolute best if they are to stand any chance of progression.

Nigeria and Egypt are the other two African nations to have already earned a spot at the 2018 World Cup, with the draw set to take place on December 1.

Itumeleng Khune started in goal for the hosts after recovering from a facial fracture sustained in Sunday's Telkom Knockout quarter-final between Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United. I think he's a hell of a goalkeeper and the best user of the ball.

Sakho broke clear and crossed to Mane, whose shot was blocked by Khune only for the clearance to hit Mkhize and trickled back into the net. Sadio Mané played Sakho through on goal with a defence-splitting pass and the West Ham striker slotted the ball past Khune.

Seven minutes later, Manyama went close again, but N'Diaye tipped his free-kick over the bar to preserve the two-goal lead.

Other reports by GizPress

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