WRANGLE: South Africa's Tokelo Rantie, right, vies with Cape Verde's Tiago Almeida during the teams' 2018 World Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Tuesday. 
Image: AFP
WRANGLE: South Africa's Tokelo Rantie, right, vies with Cape Verde's Tiago Almeida during the teams' 2018 World Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Tuesday. Image: AFP

In the space of five days, two matches against Cape Verde that could have qualified Bafana Bafana for the World Cup have been lost - the second 2-1 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Tuesday night.

South Africa's Russia 2018 dream now lies in tatters.

Garry Rodrigues scored two scorchers from a 52nd-minute free-kick and a 67th-minute drive. But the goals were also a result of Bafana giving Cape Verde room to play.

Andile Jali's low goal in the 89th minute was a mere consolation.

Mistakes early in a coach's tenure, such as some strange lineup decisions in Friday's 2-1, 10-man Bafana defeat in Praia, might be understandable in one game, even a crucial World Cup qualifier.

That result put Bafana under pressure and spoilt a chance for South Africa to take control.

Coach Stuart Baxter's starting XI on Tuesday night raised more questions, with South Africa now almost certainly out of the running for a place at Russia 2018.

A lineup that retained Dean Furman and placed him alongside Hlompho Kekana in a two-man defensive midfield seemed far too conservative a layout for the situation.

South Africa were far too loosely arranged to keep Cape Verde's dangerous runners in control while launching attacks off a solid platform. It was a mess.

In the first half Bafana were overly cautious and could not reach the tempo needed to create the chances they required.

As long as South Africa allowed Cape Verde half-chances, it would cost the home team at some stage.

Rodrigues' free-kick was a belter that Wayne Sandilands could not stop.

Rodrigues produced a second stunner and Bafana's Russia 2018 dream - barring a miracle - slipped away before their eyes.

Jali's strike from a corner was too little, too late. 

- The Times


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