What must Bafana do to ensure they qualify for next year's Africa Cup of Nations?

24 March 2021 - 15:32
By Mahlatse Mphahlele AND Mahlatse Mphahlele
Bafana Bafana players during a training session in Johannesburg on March 23 2021.
Image: Bafana Bafana/Twitter Bafana Bafana players during a training session in Johannesburg on March 23 2021.

What must Bafana Bafana do to ensure that they secure a place at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next year?

With their match against Ghana at FNB Stadium on Thursday in mind‚ the desirable scenario for the South Africans in this penultimate round of the qualifying programme is for Sudan to draw or lose away to bottom of the group São Tomé and Príncipe in the other match to be played on Wednesday night.

If Sudan are held to a draw or lose to São Tomé and Príncipe‚ Bafana would move to the top of Group C with 12 points with a win agains the Ghanaians.

Should Sudan drop points in São Tomé and Príncipe and Bafana prevail over Ghana‚ South Africa would book a place in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon next year with a match to spare.

A draw for Sudan would leave them with seven points while a win for South Africa will push them to 12 points‚ ensuring qualification on the back of three successive wins.

In the last round of qualifiers next week‚ coach Molefi Ntseki's charges would still progress to the tournament even if they lose to Sudan who would then be battling it out for second spot with Ghana.

On the flip side‚ a completely different story will play out if Sudan defeat São Tomé Príncipe away from home and Bafana lose to Ghana for the second time in these qualifiers.

In event of such a situation‚ Sudan and Bafana would go into the last matches of the qualifiers tied on 9 points and the winner joining Ghana in the Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.