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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Ntseki's Bafana Bafana need to be ruthless in 2021 Afcon qualifiers

11:37 GMT+3 18/11/2019
Molefi Ntseki and Thulani Hlatshwayo - Bafana Bafana
South Africa will have themselves to blame if they fail to qualify for Cameroon due to their poor finishing in front of goal

South Africa registered their first win of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 qualifiers with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sudan on Sunday afternoon.

While what's important may have been the three points after losing to Ghana on Thursday, Molefi Ntseki's men should not get too comfortable.

This was a performance of a team that's in transition and it showed if one looks at the 90 minutes in context. 

However, they should have done better because if this was a different opponent, stronger than Sudan, then Bafana could have struggled to win the match.

The one goal scored was enough to win them the game but it may not be enough to see them qualify for Cameroon in 2021.

The technical team can blame it on the fact they had little time to rest in between the games - two days after playing Ghana but Bafana had enough chances to bury Sudan. 

As Ntseki said in his post-match interview, fatigue began to slowly creep in the second-half but in all honesty, the game should have long been wrapped up by then. 

Bafana Bafana know the drill for qualifying for major tournaments, and that is to win their home matches convincingly and Sunday's win wasn't convincing.

South Africa and Ghana are the two nations expected to top Group C and book their plane to Cameroon but failure to score enough goals in this group could place a dent on their chances. 

For many years, Bafana have had to subject their fans to taking out calculators towards the latter stages of every qualification. 

And this shouldn't be the case even after starting the campaign on the back foot. The defeat to Ghana may have shocked the players but they knew they needed a big performance against Sudan, more so because this was a home game.

Bafana could have been on three points with a healthy goal difference, especially because Ghana are expected to stroll past Sao Tome on Monday.  

Just like with Seychelles in Afcon 2019 qualifiers, Bafana needed to be more ruthless in front of goal and they hit their then opponents for six at FNB Stadium before making things difficult for themselves in the goalless draw away from home. 

As things stand, on paper, Bafana should qualify for Cameroon 2021 with ease. Without underestimating Sudan and Sao Tome, but they are both no-match to this Ntseki side.

However, the team will be made to work for every point they earn and should not expect every match to be an easy ride and for that reason, Bafana need to move it up a notch and score more goals. 

Their level of composure in front of goal against Sudan was terrible and players such as Lebo Mothiba and Bradley Grobler should try harder to rectify this before their Afcon qualifying campaign resumes in August 2020.