Bafana's winless streak nears record
FAILURE to beat Botswana in the World Cup qualifier tomorrow will stretch Bafana Bafana's current winless streak to eight games - just one game off the worst run ever by the national team in 20 years of competition.
South Africa have not won in their past seven matches, stretching back to a 3-0 triumph over Burkina Faso in a friendly game in Johannesburg last August.
Since then they have lost to Niger, drawn with Sierra Leone in that disastrous Africa Nations Cup qualifier last October and finished the year with a draw against top-ranked Ivory Coast and a loss in Zimbabwe.
This year, there have been three successive draws against Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Ethiopia, with just a single goal scored, and a latest ranking of 68 in the world, according to the Fifa standings.
The worst run in Bafana Bafana history happened in 1997 and led to the firing of Clive Barker, mirroring the one that led to the decision to axe Pitso Mosimane this week.
After beating Congo at Soccer City with Phil Masinga's Exocet-missile goal in August 1997 to qualify for a first-ever World Cup appearance, the country lost to France, Germany and Brazil in friendlies and failed in three matches at the Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia, after which Barker was fired. Expectations were a lot higher in those days.
Jomo Sono took over and he lost his first game to Namibia away in Windhoek in the Castle Cosafa Cup and drew with Angola at the 1998 Africa Nations Cup finals before a nine-match winless streak was broken in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, when Benni McCarthy scored four goals to see the national side thump Namibia 4-1.