Ntseki wins in Bafana debut – how did the other coaches do in their first games in charge

Molefi Ntseki, Head Coach, of South Africa during the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Mali at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Molefi Ntseki, Head Coach, of South Africa during the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Mali at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Molefi Ntseki made a successful start as Bafana Bafana coach after Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Port Elizabeth.

With much bigger challenges to come‚ he will be glad to get his first win under his belt and break his duck as he looks ahead to next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers away in Ghana and home to Sudan.

SowetanLIVE takes a look back at previous Bafana coaches who have held the post on a more-or-less permanent basis and how they fared in their first games leading the team.


First Game: South Africa 1 Cameroon 0 (friendly)

The first ever match that Bafana Bafana played was against a powerful Cameroon and won via a late Doctor Khumalo penalty.

Tshabalala would last just six matches‚ with this his only victory.


First Game: South Africa 1 Congo-Brazzaville 0 (World Cup qualifier)

Mashaba had a single game in charge as a caretaker coach in the first of four spells with the team and led the side to a win over Congo as Phil Masinga got the only goal in the World Cup preliminary game.

He would go on to lead the country a record 58 times‚ losing only five of those matches outright.


First Game: Botswana 0 South Africa 2 (friendly)

Palacios also had a brief eight-game spell that started with a comfortable win in Botswana after goals from Gardner Seale and Shoes Moshoeu.

Within a year he would be out the job after a 4-0 friendly loss to Mexico in Los Angeles.


First game: South Africa 1 Zimbabwe 0 (friendly)

Barker is arguably the most successful Bafana coach after leading the side to the 1996 Africa Cup of nations title‚ and it all started with a slender victory over Zimbabwe in Mmbatho as Phil Masinga grabbed the winner.

Barker would have 43 games in charge before being axed in December 1997.


First game: Namibia 3 South Africa 2 (COSAFA Cup)

A poor start to one of three stints in charge of the side for Sono‚ though months later he took the team to the final of the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations and later returned to led them at the World Cup in 2002.

His record of seven wins and six defeats in 18 games in charge makes for mediocre reading‚ though he will point to the calibre of his opponents.


First game: South Africa 1 Zambia 1 (friendly)

Frenchman Troussier was brought in to take the team to the 1998 FIFA World Cup but did not win any of his six games in charge as the side exited in the first round.

He started with a 1-1 friendly draw against Chipolopolo at Soccer City with Shaun Bartlett grabbing a second half equaliser.


First game: South Africa 1 Angola 0 (Africa Cup of Nations qualifier)

Bartlett was again on the scoresheet to get a later winner for Moloto in his first game in charge at Soccer City‚ one of 17 victories in 34 matches for a 50 percent win ratio.

Moloto was axed in September 2000 despite leading Bafana to third-place at the Nations Cup that year.

How times have changed.


First game: South Africa 0 France 0 (friendly)

Queiroz’s first game in charge was a goalless draw with a star-studded France at Soccer City‚ with the newly-crowned world champions bringing the likes of Lilian Thuram‚ Marcel Desailly‚ Claude Makélélé‚ Patrick Vieira‚ Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry.

Queiroz was sacked after a quarterfinal finish at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations.


First game: Mauritius 2 South Africa 0 (COSAFA Cup)

When Mashaba was eventually given the boot‚ Phumo was an emergency replacement to take the team to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.

The side were stunned 2-0 by Mauritius in the COSAFA Cup and things did not improve much from there with a first round exit in Tunisia.


First game: Cape Verde 1 South Africa 2 (World Cup qualifier)

The first of two spells in charge for Baxter started with a victory in Bloemfontein against Cape Verde as Mbulelo Mabizela proved the unlikely goal-scoring hero with a brace.

The feeling is that Baxter under-achieved in both stints with the team.


First game: Egypt 1 South Africa 2 (friendly)

Dumitru was rushed into the job to take the team to the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations and started well with a friendly win over hosts Egypt‚ but it all unravelled pretty quickly with three defeats and no goals scored at the finals.


First game: Lesotho 0 South Africa 0 (friendly)

Before Mosimane took over the team on a permanent basis following the 2010 FIFA World Cup‚ he had a caretaker spell in charge and started in modest Lesotho with a goalless draw in May 2006.


First game: Chad 0 South Africa 3 (Africa Cup of Nations qualifier)

Brazilian Parreira was brought in to led the side at the 2010 World Cup and started with a thumping away success in Chad in a Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in which Surprise Moriri‚ Delron Buckley and Sibusiso Zuma were on target.


First game: Nigeria 2 South Africa 0 (World Cup qualifier)

Santana arrive to take over from Parreira when the later returned to Brazil to be with his sick wife‚ but it turned into a disaster that saw the former back in charge a little over a year later.

Santana started with 2-0 loss in Nigeria and never won over Bafana fans as the team struggled to only 10 wins in 27 under him.


First game: Brazil 1 South Africa 0

The first game in charge for Igesund after he had worked miracles at Moroka Swallows ended in a hard-fought defeat in Sao Paulo‚ though there was certainly no disgrace for the side.

This would also be the final international match for Benni McCarthy‚ who lasted 11 minutes before succumbing to injury.