There is still AFCON hope for Bafana
Bafana Bafana are very much in the Africa Cup of Nations despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Senegal in Mongomo on Friday night.
Although the result leaves South Africa bottom of Group C with one point while Senegal go top with four points, the Group’s final standings will go down to the last matches on Tuesday when group winners will be decided.
Ghana and Algeria are second and third respectively with three points each but Bafana Bafana can still top the Group with a good win in their last match and if other results go their way.
On a sweltering night at Mongomo Stadium, Bafana Bafana had an impressive first half but with no goals to show for their efforts. They easily dealt with the burly and physical Senegalese.
The South Africans gave as much as they got as the match went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
But Senegal almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time following a corner from Pape Diop which found Diouf unmarked on the far corner but his header went wide. That was Senegal’s first real attempt at goal in the whole 45 minutes.
In the first half Bafana Bafana suffered an injury blow when defender Hlatshwayo left the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Ayanda Gcaba at the stroke of half-hour mark.
Bafana Bafana upped their game in the second half and Oupa Manyisa put the South Africans in the lead two minutes after the re-start as he punished Senegal whose defence was found in sixes and sevens. Ngcongca had provided the pass from the right and Senegal could not deal with the tricky cross leaving Manyisa to coolly slot home.
Senegal almost grabbed the equaliser on the 57th minute but Mane’s effort was ruled offside. But the Senegalese were back on level terms two minutes later. Diouf free-kick met with a towering header from Mbodji although goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane should take some blame for his indecisiveness.
There were other opportunities to collect the maximum points for Bafana Bafana. Sibusiso Vilakazi played a fine pass to Thabo Matlaba but his effort was blocked by the Senegalese defence on 80th minute.
Mabokgwane then made a great save on the 81st minute as he pushed out Dame N’Doye’s long shot.
It’s all to play for in the final Group C matches next Tuesday and Bafana Bafana are by no means out of it.