Bafana and punters must be wary

Fri 15 Nov by Mark Gleeson


South Africa have only played against Sudan twice before and although they won both games, they produced contrasting performances that were characteristic of the inconsistency of Bafana Bafana over the years.The initial clash was the game after Shakes Mashaba was put in charge and, inspired by the skill of Sibusiso Vilakazi, then of Bidvest Wits and now Mamelodi Sundowns, the South Africans romped home to a 3-0 win in Khartoum, never an easy place for any team to go and get a good result.That victory set South Africa on the path to qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals which they wrapped up a year later in Durban against Sudan.But the narrow 2-1 victory at the Moses Mabhida Stadium was a mistake-ridden affair, and despite home advantage, a somewhat hollow victory.
It seems so strange that a team could produce such contrasting performances against the same opposition with a fearless exhibition away and then a laboured showing at home.It is just another example of how precarious it can be in the realm of African internationals, especially qualifying games.
On Sunday South Africa host Sudan again, this time at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto in what will be a second game for both at the start of the 2021 Cup of Nations qualifiers.Bafana will be favoured but punters will be wary and should there be a shock outcome, then a handsome payout is likely.
Already we have seen some surprise results as the qualifiers got underway in midweek.It has been the assertion, for some while now, that the gap between the heavyweights of the African game and the smaller, under-resourced minnows is fast disappearing.There is now mounting evidence to suggest that there is little between the teams, as witnessed on Wednesday when the Cape Verde lslands (with a population of around 600 000) held former World Cup quarter-finalists Cameroon to a 0-0 draw – in Cameroon!Cup of Nations qualifiers continue today through to Tuesday with plenty opportunity for bold punters to make some money.

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