South African captain Ronwen Williams leads his players out during their World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg on Tuesday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
South African captain Ronwen Williams leads his players out during their World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg on Tuesday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana’s road to Qatar 2022 explained

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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Cape Town – Bafana Bafana’s bid to qualify for their first Fifa World Cup appearance since hosting the global showpiece in 2010 has picked up momentum after the first four matches of their qualifying campaign.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Hugo Broos’ team has captured the imagination of the nation with consecutive victories over Ghana (home) and Ethiopia (home and away).

Coupled with an opening away draw against Zimbabwe in Harare, Bafana currently top Group G with 10 points after four games, closely followed by Ghana with nine points. Zimbabwe and Ethiopia can no longer qualify for next year’s Fifa World Cup.

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So what must Bafana still do to get to Qatar 2022?

Bafana are in the second round of qualification. They still have two matches remaining against Zimbabwe (home) and Ghana (away) before the conclusion of Round 2. Bafana have their destiny in their own hands as victory over both these teams will ensure they finish top of the group.

Will that ensure qualification to Qatar 2022?

NO!

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Why not?

There is a third round of qualifiers to be played. The 10 group winners of Round 2 advance to the third round, where they will play home-and-away over two legs. Only these five winners qualify for the Qatar 2022.

Bafana’s remaining fixtures

11 November 2021: South Africa v Zimbabwe

14 November: Ghana v South Africa

ALSO READ: Bafana Bafana reclaim top spot in group after beating Ethiopia in front of home fans

Bafana’s finals history

Bafana have made three previous Fifa World Cup appearances. The national team did not progress past the first round in France 1998 and South Korea and Japan 2002. South Africa also memorably hosted the tournament in 2010 – Bafana’s last appearance at the World Cup – but again failed to advance to the knockout stages.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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