The news is out, and the calculators have been packed away. Bafana Bafana have now officially not qualified for yet another AFCON competition, not even mathematics can save us now (not that it ever has but we do depend on it a lot). Despite this, the supporters are confused. The boys put in a really solid performance to demolish Gambia 4-0 on the weekend, so why is the team not competing when it counts?
If one were to look at the second half of the qualifying campaign, surely the calls for Shakes Mashaba’s head would be lessening? An impressive away performance against a powerful Cameroon and a 4-0 thundering of Gambia. The supporters are impressed by these recent displays, but it was too little too late, and once again the boys slipped up at the easiest of hurdles.
"Too late for Shakes." – Octavious
"We always seem to wake up when it's too late." – sgelekeque
Others couldn't help but be impressed by this weekend's performance.
"Wow, it was a great game and I would like to thank our players." – #viperboy
"Thanks Bafana, let's keep the morale up. We are right behind you." – zvi
"Ja, Shakes and Gabuza made me eat humble pie." – thabnaldo
So, while the nation is impressed by the result, it is equally confused as to how we could demolish the same team 4-0 away but couldn't score a single goal against them at home. Furthermore, how does a team that has the capability to beat teams like France and Spain let 121-ranked Mauritania put three goals past them?
Is it possible that this team suffers from a lack of small-match temperament? Why is it that we put in the performances when the pressure is on and people have written us off, yet when it's "easy" we make it difficult for ourselves?
These are answers we will never know, but, nonetheless, congratulations to the boys for a good weekend performance. It's good to know we can score goals when we have the desire.
Why does Bafana struggle to beat the smaller teams? What should the team do now that we have failed to qualify?