With a stride in their walk, the Ghanaian football national team confidently boasted of how better they were against South Africa. The Black Stars finished group winners with 6 points and consequently progress to the quarterfinals of the Orange African Cup of Nation alongside Algeria who won the concurrent group match 2-0 against Senegal.
Thrown in the group of death, Bafana Bafana could only amass one point in possible nine. Dismal failure if there was ever one. In such a group, in my humble opinion, no opponent should even utter such words. This, by translation, was the group consisting of the best performing teams in the continent coming to the tournament.
Surely one point is a travesty.
When reflecting of the whole Afcon experience, this was South Africa’s third game. Third time they let a lead slip. Changed the goalkeeper three times. Displayed no resemblance of high in confidence.
The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, stated that this tournament would be viewed as a learning curve towards the building of a stronger team for future tournaments.
@ILLestSymptoms made a brilliant observation of how the national teams and their coaches are always on the process of building.
Perhaps it’s time to change careers; the construction industry would be blessed with such dedicated workers.
#AziweKe the bafanabafana team is always building towards something when are we ever going to finish building,tired couches & their building
— Twanano Freedman (@ILLestSymptoms) January 28, 2015
The South African Football Association (SAFA) did not set a mandate for the team to achieve in the tournament. Most likely to diminish any backlash in the event that they fail to progress through the group stages.
In retrospect, this disappointment follows a host of dismal showings in the continental competition of late. In the last six continental tournaments, South Africa has failed to progress though the group stages on 3 occasions. On two occasions they failed to qualify, with only the quarterfinals being the furthest they have gotten.
However sad this reality is, it does put some perspective into ones expectations of the team.
Catch phrase should be “South African football team. We stay building”