Full disclosure: I didn’t watch the match – way too late for me right now. Just catching up now and… well… wow. This one needs sharing for posterity. You’re Ghana love it.
Thoughts and prayers with the player involved. Unlikely to ever play again, looking at this. Less sympathy for the referee’s bank account.
Ghana’s 1-0 win (the goal coming from this decision) means that the final table looks like this:
…meaning that South Africa don’t qualify, but Ghana do.
And you can talk all you like about missed chances and winning games you only drew and and and, but there were plenty of other close calls across the world yesterday (not least this amazing game – or this one), whose outcomes weren’t then ruined by a really, really, dodgy decision.
But that’s politics for you isn’t it? A short-term, shiny surface popularity contest (see yesterday’s post) with no real substance behind it. I’d love to think that Mbalula felt differently about the South African football team, but deep down, I think he’s just trying to look good in front of his legion of twitter fans after the kicking his reputation took for those 2014 comments.
So, while I’m all for this “new approach”, while we’re a whole 365 days on from Fikile’s extraordinary outburst, while he tells us how we must react to last night’s rubbish with dignity and while we’re all not calling Bafana Bafana names, let’s not allow ourselves to conveniently forget exactly who was the most famous name caller of all.
I’m off to watch South Africa take on African Champions and second-tier Ebola carriers Nigeria at the Cape Town Stadium this evening. It’ll be my fourth time watching the national team and I have yet to see them win. Or… er… draw, actually.
The first Bafana Bafana game I saw was seven years ago yesterday, as it happens: Zambia in an Afcon qualifier at Newlands. South Africa weren’t very good that day and Chris Katongo scored a hattrick in 11 minutes for Chipolopolo ruining the return of Benni McCarthy from international exile. It finished 1-3. It wasn’t great.
And then, because of the World Cup and the politics of SAFA, we didn’t see another Bafana game in Cape Town until after the World Cup. Then, we got to see them play the USA at the Cape Town Stadium in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in November 2010. South Africa weren’t very good that day, and lost to a second half goal from Juan Agudelo goal.
We shouldn’t forget the last time I saw them, either. 8th January last year, against a decidedly under-strength (read: “B-team”) Norway. South Africa weren’t very good that day and eventually lost a really, really boring game to Tarik Elyounoussi’s goal just before half time.
South Africa have won one first-class game at the Cape Town Stadium: a 2-0 win against the Central African Republic in March last year. I wasn’t there, but I was reliably informed that the Central African Republic weren’t very good that day. And yes, there were the CHAN games too, but those don’t really count.
So Bafana’s record is fairly unspectacular in Cape Town, and even more so when I’m watching them. New coach Shakes Mashaba has requested everyone to come out and support the team this evening, but if he knew my history with watching his side, he’d probably be less keen to see me there.
The stadium in Sudan was fully packed to capacity. I hope it will also be the case in Cape Town.
Well, no it won’t. I’m not sure what sort of crowd they’re expecting, but I am told that the lower tier has sold out and they’ve opened up the second tier for bookings. That would probably mean somewhere between about 25,000 and 30,000 tops.
I’ll try and snap a few photos this evening and put them on twitter (tonight) and Flickr (maybe tomorrow).
For many, this weekend was the final straw. Yet another disastrous performance – letting the country down when we were all so full of hope – was just too much. There’s been repeated harsh (and entirely justified) public criticism – “useless” and “losers” just a couple of the words bandied around – but it merely seems to fall on deaf ears.
It wasn’t the first time, either. It sometimes seems like we’re lurching from one poor performance, riddled with errors and incompetence, to the next. For some, the problem is obvious: they choose to blame the man in charge, but I don’t think it’s necessarily that cut and dried. In my mind, the performance of the whole lot of them has been repeatedly calamitous. Fairly regularly, it’s actually been embarrassing for the country. You’d be excused for thinking that maybe they’re simply not up to the job in hand, and yet they’re highly paid and highly respected. How can this be?
It’s all so different to those glory days back in the mid-90’s. Back then – yes, perhaps under better management – things were so much better and the achievements were clearly there for all to see. Since then, however, while there have been occasional moments of triumph, it’s mainly been a steady downhill and 2014 shows no signs of bucking that trend. It’s actually rather sad.
And yet, there remains a huge level of support for these guys. Perhaps it’s because the population feels there’s no other team that is worthy of their support, or perhaps it’s habit, because they’ve just never supported anyone else.
But yes, the ANC will still win the elections again this year. Incredible.