Bafana Bafana were knocked out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament on Wednesday night when they lost 2-1 to their nemesis Nigeria in the second quarterfinal match at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.
A blunder in the 89th minute by goalkeeper Ronwen Williams allowed defender William Troost-Ekong a simple tap in to score the winner for the Super Eagles.
It was a game that the Super Eagles dominated in the first half and had better chances to kill it off after scoring through Samuel Chukwueze in the 27th minute.
Bafana responded in the second half through Bongani Zungu’s header in the 71st minute, thanks to the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Coach Stuart Baxter reflects on Bafana loss:
After conceding four goals in the last two matches, Nigeria came with an organised approach in this game and neutralised Bafana from the onset.
They made it difficult for the South African team to execute the combination play.
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says what helped them was to refresh the team.
Tactically, Baxter came off second best on Wednesday night to Rohr, his substitutions were more of like for like and didn’t influence change in the game particularly the last sub of Lars Veldwijk coming on for Lebohang Mothiba.
Did this also contribute to the late winner of Nigeria?
It was a sweet revenge for Nigeria and Rohr after Bafana had beaten them 2-0 in Uyo in the opening game of the AFCON qualifiers two years ago.
The German-born coach says that result was a blessing in disguise.
After some good performances in this tournament and playing four matches, Williams has owned up to his mistake that led to the winning goal for the Super Eagles.
– Report by Velile Mnyandu