Bafana Bafana will be looking to redeem themselves this Friday, June 28, after failing to bag a victory in their opening AFCON match against Ivory Coast.
With many of the public feeling like the lads dropped the ball on the day, SportPesa Clubhouse column ambassador, Doctor Khumalo hopes that the team will be able to make a U-turn as he feels that since 1996 the senior national side’s performances have deteriorated.
“It is such a pity that Bafana Bafana lost their opening match of the 2019 Afcon in Egypt, against Ivory Coast. I wish them everything of the best in their second and very crucial game against Namibia on Friday. I really hope the boys will make it past the group stages and see what happens in the knockout stages.
“When you analyse Bafana Bafana’s performances in this tournament since 1996, you’ll realise that we’ve been on a sort of a downward spiral. We won it in 1996, lost in the final two years later and we started deteriorating from being eliminated in the group stages and then we failed to reach the group stages. As if that wasn’t enough, we started not qualifying at all and that speaks volumes about our performances over the years.
“This is the 10th Afcon edition that we are taking part in and have reached two cup finals, as mentioned earlier, when we won it in 1996 against Tunisia and when we were runners-up in 1998 against Egypt, in Burkina Faso. That’s not a bad record if you are not South African but, because we don’t rest on our laurels and always go for bigger things, that statistic is worrying. We have not made it past the group stages four times and I really hope that we will change that this year by progressing past the group stages and challenging for the honours. Having said that, I should say that as much as we don’t have many overseas-based players plying their trade in big leagues, we still expect our national team to do better. If you cast your mind back to 1996, you will remember that we only had a handful of players in that squad who were based overseas, with the rest of the team comprised of locally-based players.”
Khumalo went on to point out that he hopes that history does not repeat itself for Stuart Baxter’s team in the tournament.
To read what history the Kaizer Chiefs legend is talking about. Check out this week’s SportPesa Clubhouse column in issue 1129 of Soccer Laduma.