Heartbreak for Bafana Bafana

Thulani Serero of South Africa is tackled by Ghanem Saiss of Morocco during the Africa Cup of Nations Group D clash at Al Salam Stadium last night. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Football
Thulani Serero of South Africa is tackled by Ghanem Saiss of Morocco during the Africa Cup of Nations Group D clash at Al Salam Stadium last night. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Football

It wasn't the best of performances from Bafana Bafana against Morocco, and now SA's chances of reaching the knockout phase are hanging by a thread.

Based on what happened in the 90 minutes, Bafana didn't deserve anything, with Morocco winning 1-0 to top the group with nine points.

Ivory Coast came in second with six points after beating Namibia 4-1 in the other clash from Group D.

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It leaves Bafana in third with three points and Stuart Baxter's men have now been relegated to fight for a spot among the best third-place finishers.

At the time of writing, Bafana were barely hanging on to fourth place in this group of third place finishers and have to wait for today's matches including Benin and Angola, who face Cameroon and Mali respectively, to find out if they are in or have to return home.

On the stands, Bafana supporters - about 20 including the familiar faces like Botha Msila, Sadaam Maake and Dinah Matli, were outnumbered by the Moroccans, who were in their hundreds.

Msila and company just stood there and watched helplessly as Morocco piled on the pressure until getting their late goal through Mbark Boussafa.

Truth be told, Bafana are lucky to even still be in with a chance after some poor outings in their group.

They barely managed a shot on target in a disjointed display that didn't improve, despite Baxter making three changes.

Frustrated, the supporters kept calling for struggling left back Sifiso Hlanti to be taken off and went further in the second half by asking for Kamohelo Mokotjo and Bongani Zungu to go off.

Baxter, however, probably didn't even notice because he was on the other side of the field.

Morocco and Ivory Coast - who had never beaten SA before meeting them in this tournament - have shown by finishing ahead of Bafana that the latter are a bit off the pace in terms of their play.

With the likes of hosts Egypt in the next round, it can only get difficult and if Bafana are still here by tomorrow, they will have to really pull up their socks.

For now, they await pensively the results from elsewhere to see if they pack for Johannesburg, or the round of 16 of the continental tournament.

Group D log

Team                  P    W    D   L   GF   GA  Pts

1 Morocco         3     3     0    0   3      0      9

2 Ivory Coast    3    2      0    1    5      2      6

3 South Africa  3    1      0    2    1      2      3

4 Namibia          3  0      0    3    1      6      0

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