There was a temporary reprieve when Ethiopia were penalised for fielding an ineligible player in an earlier World Cup qualifier against Botswana.
However, despite being docked three log points, Ethiopia were still two ahead of South Africa going into Saturday’s final group A games, which were played simultaneously in Durban and Brazzaville.
So Bafana not only had to beat Botswana, they had to hope the Central African Republic (CAR) would, at the same time, deny victory to Ethiopia. Indeed the CAR did go 1-0 up in the 23rd minute. But 25 minutes later Ethiopia equalised before pulling ahead 2-1.
So the Brazil dream is over, just as the 2013 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) quest was fruitless. Bafana must now look ahead to Afcon 2015 and the 2018 World Cup.
There is no point in sacking coach Gordon Igesund. He’s been doing a good enough job with a squad that had already lost qualifiers before he started.