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Permutations … What Bafana Bafana must do to avoid previous qualification rules blunders

Bafana Bafana’s Teboho Mokoena celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier match against Zimbabwe. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana’s Teboho Mokoena celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier match against Zimbabwe. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Nov 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos knows his team need to be much better in Ghana on Sunday in their final Fifa Round 2 World Cup Qualifier if they are progress to the next stage.

Bafana earned another invaluable 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe at the FNB Stadium on Thursday evening following Ghana's earlier 1-1 all draw with Ethiopia at the Orlando Stadium. Ethiopia are playing their home matches in South Africa due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Broos's team now lead the group by three points heading into the last match Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana (9pm SA time start) , requiring just a draw to advance. However, the permutations become a lot more tricky for Bafana if they lose as even a 1-0 defeat will send the Black Stars through.

The Fifa World Cup rules stipulate that qualifiers are decided first by goal difference in the group, then by goals scored in the group, and only after that does any head-to-head rule come into play.

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A 1-0 victory for Ghana would tie them on goal difference with Bafana, but overtake Broos' team on goals scored which would be enough for progression. Both teams have currently scored six goals with Bafana having a superior goal difference of four to Ghana.

"I'm happy with the result but not with the performance, we didn't do a very good performance today, the opponent was more aggressive than us," Broos told SABC.

"They were more better on the ball, we were a little bit soft today, I don't know why, lucky for us it was 1-0 and they didn't score because they had chances also, so I can't be happy with the performance today.

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"Ok, we're in a good position, we go to Ghana but we have to know the performance has to be much better on Sunday because we'll be playing against a much better team also.

"So again I don't know what happened today with my team, they were not aggressive, I don't know why but again we won the game and that is the most important.

"We wanted to change because you could see it was not good, it was not only one player, it was all the team, we tried to change somethings with other players, it was a little bit better but again. We missed the aggression today, we lost every duel and this is not good."

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Teboho Mokoena scored Bafana's solitary goal for Bafana after Keegan Dolley found the SuperSport United midfielder with an inch-perfect free kick. Broos was happy with the design of the goal, but knows his team needs to improve.

"Yes, it was a good opener, we scored on a set-piece, this is something where we're strong but again on the other side it was not good today, not enough and I hope we will do better on Sunday," he added.

The final round, which will be a two-leg play off, will be take place during the Fifa international break in March next year.

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