Bafana Bafana

Lebogang Manyama with Bafana coach Stuart Baxter (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/ Gallo Images)

South Africa 0-2 Senegal: Bafana Bafana’s World Cup dream crushed!

It was always an uphill climb and the home side were not up for it.

Bafana Bafana

Lebogang Manyama with Bafana coach Stuart Baxter (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/ Gallo Images)

South Africans will again have to adopt another country to support in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, after Bafana Bafana were brushed aside 2-0 by Senegal at the Peter Mokaba stadium on Friday.

It was a must-win game for the home side, who sit bottom of the Group D table with just four points, needing to win both their remaining World Cup qualifiers.

Senegal were the first to settle into the game and it paid off immediately as they caught the home side napping, with Liverpool star Saido Mane threading a pass through the defence into Diaffra Sakho’s path who put it past the diving Itumeleng Khune.

This spurred Bafana into action, as they quickly searched for the equaliser, putting together a few silky touches that proved to be a handful for the visitors but lacking the finishing touch. Lebohang Manyama came close in the 28th minute as his shot beat the keeper only to be denied by the cross bar. Percy Tau’s follow-up header was not firm enough to cause any trouble.

Bafana would live to rue those missed opportunities though, as Mane was again in the thick of the action in the 38th minute when his shot was blocked by Khune but ricocheted off Thamsanqa Mkhize into his own net as Senegal went 2-0 up.

At the stroke of halftime it was Manyama again who went close, with his free kick tipped over the bar by Senegalese goalkeeper, Khadiim Ndiaye.

The second half started with no real sense of direction from either side and it took eleven minutes for any goalmouth action as Sibusiso Vilakazi’s long range shot forced another save from Ndiaye.

No further goals would come for the rest of the match as Stuart Baxter’s men were rather poor in front of goal while their opponent hung on to ensure qualification for next year’s showpiece.

The two sides next meet in what is now effectively a dead-rubber game in Dakar on Tuesday.