Bafana Bafana has been booted out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) as they were convincingly defeated 2-1 by the fancied Black Stars of Ghana in the last Group C match played at Mongomo stadium on Tuesday night.
As has been the case through the tournament, South Africa took the lead but allowed the opposition to come back and steal the show.
Mandla Masango gave Bafana Bafana the first half lead in the 17th minute, but late strikes by John Boye and Andre Ayew, son of legendary Abedi Pele, crushed South Africa’s chance of progressing into the last eight as Ghana, who lost the opening match to Senegal, topped the group.
It was a sad end for Bafana Bafana, who had entered into the finals in Equatorial Guinea on the back of a long unbeaten run.
With news that Algeria was winning by a single goal, it meant South Africa had to push forward for another goal to proceed to the next round, but instead of pushing forward in the second half, it was the Black Stars who started on the offensive with goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo and his back four trying to keep things tight.
Both Khuzwayo and Mathoho tried to keep the offensive Black Stars at bay, but not until in the 70th minute when Ghana made a double substitution in a bid to add some bite upfront and immediately equalised when substitute John Boye scored after he collected a loose ball inside the box and his strike gave Khuzwayo no chance to make it 1-1.
Kwesi Appiah then hit the upright moments later as the double substitution started to pay dividends. It was at this juncture that South Africa needed to regroup as they were constantly pushed on the back foot. The Black Stars forced one corner after the other as they searched for the winner.
In the 82nd minute, Ghana took the lead through Andre Ayew, whose perfect header gave Khuzwayo no chance as Bafana Bafana again gave away yet another lead as has been the case in their previous two games.
While everyone could see that both Bafana strikers, Tokelo Rantie and Bongani Ndulula, were not doing the job upfront of frustrating the opposition defence, they were like passengers in the field.
This made the Ghanaian defenders push forward, making Bafana Bafana play very deep in their own half.
Bafana Bafana, who are heading home today, will be remembered in this tournament as the first team to concede three goals, miss a penalty and score an own goal.
In another Group C final match played at Malabo stadium at the same time, Algeria secured a spot in the knock-out stages of Afcon after beating Senegal 2-0. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za