Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Gord Delusion: Bafana's route to the quarter-finals is simpler than it looks

Goalden moments: South Africa waited 316 minutes for last night's goals

Bafana Bafana, fresh from their 2-0 win over Angola last night, face off against Morocco on Sunday in their final Group A clash. The game kicks-off at 7pm, simultaneously with Angola v Cape Verde at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa currently lead the group by two points with a game to go. A win or a draw will see them through but a defeat means qualification is not assured. The two top from each group qualify for the quarter-finals, playing the top two from Group B.

These are the permutations as coach Gordon Igesund goes in to a huge showdown with his supersub Lehonololo Majoro out of Sunday’s game with a gash shin.

1: If we beat Morocco we are through as Group A winners and play in the second quarter-final against the Group B runners-up (Mali, Ghana, DR Congo or, possibly, Niger). That takes place at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on February 2 at 8.30pm.

2: If we draw against Morocco South Africa will qualify, but possibly not as group leaders. These are the possibilities:
a)      If Angola beat Cape Verde, Bafana go through as group winners.
b)      If Angola draw with Cape Verde, Bafana go through as group winners.
c)       If Cape Verde beat Angola by one goal, Bafana go through as group winners.
d)      If Cape Verde beat Angola by two goals, Bafana qualify but the side with most goals scored goes through as group leaders.
e)      If Cape Verde beat Angola by three goals or more, Bafana qualify as group runners up and go to the first quarter-final against the Group B winners at Port Elizabeth, 5pm on February 2.

3: If we lose to Morocco it could get nasty:
a)      If Angola beat Cape Verde, Bafana go through as runners-up on head-to-head result.
b)      If Angola draw with Cape Verde, we go through as runners-up.
c)       If Cape Verde beat Angola, Bafana are OUT.

South Africans worried Cape Verde may produce a “Portuguese handshake” on Sunday should not worry. Angola cannot afford to throw the game. If Angola beat Cape Verde and South Africa get a draw or a win, Angola would go through ahead of Morocco.

As for the rest, here’s the exact wording for what happens if teams end level:

In case of equality of points between two or more teams, at the conclusion of the group matches, the ranking of the teams shall be established according to the following criteria:
72.1.  Greater number of points obtained in the matches between the teams in question;
72.2.  The best goal difference in the matches between the teams in question;
72.3.  Greater number of goals scored in the matches between the teams concerned;
72.4.  Goal difference in all group matches;
72.5. Greatest number of goals scored in all the group matches;
72.6.  Fair Play points system taking into account the number of yellow and red cards;
72.7.  Drawing of lots by CAF Organising Committee

Knowing defeat is unthinkable, Igesund says: “Against Morocco there could be changes because Morocco and Angola are totally different -  different types of players with different styles of play.

“A lot of people will look and say I made changes against Angola because I was panicking but I was not. I took a risk and it had nothing to do with panicking. It was the kind of team I put out to win.

That’s what it’s about, having a team that you believe in that can go and get the job done.
“The reason I took my jacket off was because it was hot out there and of course this is a hot seat, I promise you.

“There were a lot of nerves involved I in the opening 0-0 draw against Cape Verde, but I don’t think the players were as nervous against Angola.

“I want to say to every player, even the guys on the bench, that they stood up to be counted. We were under pressure but I don’t think it was unjustified criticism. We hadn’t been scoring goals and we know how people feel about that. As I said we just need to bounce back and these situations make us stronger.

“We don’t want to get too excited or carried away. It’s only one win.”

SCOTT CANNY, the marketing  manager of who will be on SPORTSTALK on, offers this analysis of the odds on South Africa going all the way to the National Stadium on February 10:

·       Bafana to win AFCON 2013
o   Before Match 1 (17/2)
o   After Match 1 (12/1)
o   After Match 2 (10/1)
·         Bafana were 11/10 to beat Angola last night and 12/1 to win 2-0
·         Bafana are 13/10 to beat Morocco and 21/10 to draw
o   This basically means we have a 40% chance of winning and 30% chance of drawing. So we have a 70% chance of securing qualification without having to worry about the other result!

No comments:

Post a Comment