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National side have lost 11 straight against European teams in Europe

South Africa will get the opportunity to improve on what is a mediocre record against European teams in Europe when they take on Poland in Warsaw on Friday night.

The friendly international will be the 20th time that Bafana have played against European opposition in Europe, but they have just a single success against tiny Malta to show for it.

And even that was a less-than-convincing effort, a 1-0 victory secured in the dying minutes thanks to a Thabo Mngomeni goal in 2000.

They have fared slightly better against Scandanavian sides, securing 1-1 draws with Denmark (twice) and Iceland.

Their first meeting with the Danes was in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France when, having lost their opener 3-0 to the hosts, they managed a deserved draw as Benni McCarthy equalised in the second half. It might have been better too after Quinton Fortune hit the crossbar late on.

The played again in Copenhagen 10 months later and this match too finished 1-1, John Moshoeu on target on this occasion.

Their draw with Iceland was actually played in Germany ahead of the 1998 World Cup and McCarthy was again the scorer there.

For the rest it has been a run of disappointing defeats, some to the giants of the game such as England, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal, mixed in with reversals against Iceland, Scotland and Norway.

The game against Poland gives them the opportunity to end a horror run of 11 straight defeats against European opposition in Europe that dates back to that Malta match.    

In the context of that, a draw in Poland would be most welcome and hopefully for Bafana’s sake, break the cycle they are in.

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