Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund is under the spotlight after his inconsistent team played to a goalless draw (0-0) against giant killer and AFCON debutants Cape Verde during their opening game of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations played on Saturday 19 January 2013, at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Igesund, who the nation pinned its hopes to revive a slumbering team and take it to its former glory of 1996, will certainly get a tongue-lashing from his SAFA bosses who were expecting some good results from this competition.
But it was not meant to be that way on Saturday at the venue that hosted both the opening and closing games and ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as the visitors pushed the former African champions against the Soweto wall, and emerged the best team in the first half.
Cape Verde, who beat and ousted Cameroon from AFCON 2013 finals, showed throughout the game that they were no push-overs. They created two best chances of the game, which they did not unfortunately capitalise on. Now it is back to the drawing board for Igesund and his kids, who would have to be on their very best against the two remaining games against Angola and Morocco, or face an early and humiliating exit from the continent’s most prestigious soccer tournament.
Bafana Bafana, who came in the competition against the backdrop of heavy criticism, both from the media and ordinary supporters, could plunge the country into a deep soccer crisis if they fail to qualify for the next round.
And that could be Igesund’s end of the road!
South Africa: Anele Ngcongca, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Thabo Matlaba, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Bongani Khumalo (captain), Itumeleng Khune, Bernard Parker, Thuso Phala, Siyabonga Sangweni.
Cape Verde: Josimar Dias, Fernando Varela, Elvis Macedo, Fernando Neves (captain), Luis Soares, Antonio Varela, Heldon Ramos, Marco Soares, Nivaldo Santos, Ryan Mendes, Carlos Tavares.
*Photo by diskibafana.blogspot.com