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Battling Bafana out of AFCON 2015 after fading against Ghana
- Updated: January 28, 2015
Bafana Bafana are out of the 2015 AFCON tournament in Equatorial Guinea after a 2-1 defeat to the Black Stars of Ghana.
As has been the case of late, Shakes Mashaba’s outfit took the lead but allowed the opposition to come back and steal the show.
Mandla Masango gave Bafana Bafana the first half lead with a sublime volleyed strike in the 17th minute but late strikes by John Boye and Andre Ayew, son of legendary Abedi Pele, put paid to any chances South Africa had of making it into the last eight as Ghana, who lost the opening game to Senega,l topped the group.
It was a sad end for Bafana Bafana who had gone into the tournament in Equatorial Guinea on the back of a long unbeaten run. After Masango had given South Africa the lead in the opening 20 minutes, the match immediately turned into a war of attrition.
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 although Brilliant Khuzhwayo and his back four kept things tight.
Khuzhwayo was in the thick of action again punching the ball clear in the 55th minute from a good cross as Ghana threw every man upfront.
Erick ‘Tower’ Mathoho was managing to clear most of the the high balls as Ghana continued to pump long ball into the box.
In the 70th minute, Ghana then made a double substitution in a bid to add some bite upfront and almost immediately equalised when substitute Boye scored after he collected a loose ball inside the box and his strike gave Khuzhwayo no chance and the score was 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 onto 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 Ayew whose perfect header gave Khuzhwayo no chance as Bafana Bafana again relinquished yet another lead as was the case in their previous two games.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for Mashaba and his rising charges who will now have to pick up the pieces in the forthcoming competitions as the rebuilding exercise continues.