Bafana Bafana crash out of Africa Cup | Africa | DW | 04.02.2013
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Africa

Bafana Bafana crash out of Africa Cup

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations saw its first penalty shoot-out in Durban late on Saturday in which hosts South Africa were eliminated from the competition losing 3-1 to a defiant Mali.

South Africa's national team Bafana Bafana went into this match with high expectations.

DW South Africa correspondent Subry Govender said that before the game many South Africans had boasted that Bafana Bafana would coast to an easy victory over  the Malian Eagles.

But as it turned out the match ended sadly for South Africa but rather more happily  for the Malian team, whose friends and relatives back home are either grieving over their  loved ones or living in fear of attack by rebel soldiers.

However, this South Africa fan had clearly hoped for a different outcome. "I am extremely disappointed especially after they played so well in the build-up and to go out in that manner with the penalty shoot out I feel very disheartened by the whole situation," he said.

South African fans cheer their team in the African Nations Cup /Rogan Ward (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

South African fans turned out in large numbers to support their team

They had everything going for them in the competition, good home support from flag-and-banner-waving fans and financial support from the Jacob Zuma-led government. Bafana Bafana couldn't have asked for more. But on a day when hopes were so high, the team failed to live up expectations.

While many people expressed their disappointment, others felt that the South African team had done much better than expected. They are now hopeful that with the current crop of players South Africa will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

This fan opted for a pragmatic approach. "I won't say I am disappointed but it's a reality check because before we started the tournament we knew that our team is not up to scratch but guys performed very well and from now we are looking to the 2014 World Cup."

The South African football association said they were impressed with the performance of Bafana Bafana's coach Gordon Ingesund and formally announced on Monday that he would be retained to prepare the team for the World Cup.

West African ‘affair'

With Ghana ending the journey of the giant-killing Cape Verde and the Bafana Bafana losing to Mali, the coast is now clear for an all West Africa affair in the semi-finals, which begin on Wednesday.

Players from Ivory Coast and Nigeria tussle out for the ball (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Ivory Coast's Elephants lost to Nigeria's Super Eagles 2-1

After the Black Stars of Ghana managed to grab a semi-final ticket at the expense of hard-fighting Cape Verde, the people of South Africa had hoped that the Bafana Bafana would follow suit and make their weekend a memorable one. It was not to be.

Instead, it was the Eagles of Mali and their few supporters who won the day, thanks to their brilliant delivery in a penalty shoot-out, which gave them victory at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a clash that ended 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Elsewhere the golden generation of the Ivory Coast came to the end of the road, as the Elephants were usurped by Nigeria's Super Eagles with a 2-1 victory.

Ghana and Burkina Faso will meet in one semi-final match. The other semi-final contest will see Mali go against Nigeria in Durban.

Afcon officials here in Durban say that although Bafana Bafana has not qualified for the semi-finals they are expecting a huge crowd to turn out for the Mali-Nigeria match.

There's a large Nigerian community in Durban and they are expected to turn out in big numbers.
 

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