Oh, to be a Bafana Bafana supporter. The national soccer team broke our hearts again when they lost to Cape Verde in Durban on Tuesday night – their second loss to the Blue Sharks inside a week.
While there is still a glimmer of hope that they can qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the backto-back losses have effectively shut the door on their chances of representing their country on soccer’s biggest stage next year.
With just four points from four matches in World Cup qualifying, Bafana are at the bottom of their group, and would need a number of unlikely scenarios to play out if they were to somehow qualify for the World Cup.
Burkina Faso and Cape Verde have six points in Group D, while Senegal have five. Winning their remaining two matches is non-negotiable, which in itself will prove extremely tricky.
They host Burkina Faso next month, while picking up points in their final match of their campaign in Dakar against Senegal in November is an almighty task.
If you ignore their automatic qualification as hosts for the 2010 World Cup, South Africa last qualified for a World Cup in 2002.
That ordinary statistic doesn’t look set to change as it looks all over, bar the shouting for Stuart Baxter’s men.
Just a few months ago it looked so promising. Shortly after being handed the national coaching position for a second term, Baxter led Bafana to a historic first competitive win over Nigeria in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
That win gave Bafana hope that they had turned the corner. Fast forward to September and we are in tatters. The current team lacks urgency and direction.
Baxter has a massive job on his hands if he is to turn things around quickly. We can only hope he finds his secret touch.