Bafana Bafana’s World Cup dreams came to an end after they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ghana at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in their final Fifa World Cup Group G qualifier on Sunday evening.
Hugo Broos made three changes to his side that beat Zimbabwe in their previous game as Victor Letsoalo, Siyanda Xulu and Ethan Brooks were named in the starting lineup in place of Evidence Makgopa, Keagan Dolly and Njabulo Ngcobo.
The Black Stars almost took the lead as early as the sixth minute but Mohamed Kudus curled his effort narrowly missed the target, although Bafana keeper Ronwen William had his bases covered.
Joran Ayew was nearly gifted with a golden opportunity to hand Ghana the lead in the 14th minute but he failed to capitalise on Rushine De Reuck’s slip to put the Ghanian through on goal.
Ghana’s persistence finally paid off on the half-hour mark when they were awarded a penalty when De Reuck was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Amartey inside the area. Andre Ayew stepped up and made no mistake to slot home his penalty.
The home side held on to their narrow lead as the game went into the half-time break.
Jordan Ayew had two chances early in the second half to double his sides lead from two free-kicks but the attacker fired his set-piece into the safe hands of Williams on both occasions.
Ghana thought they had a chance to make it 2-0 six minutes later when Sulemana turned his marker before sending a cross into the path of Ayew, who heads his effort wide although he was judged to have been offside.
Broos opted to make his first substitution in the 70th minute when Brooks was taken off and replaced by Keagan Dolly.
The Black Stars continued to knock on the door and should’ve doubled their lead in the 78th minute when Sulemana tried to roll the ball past Williams from 30 yards out but saw his effort narrowly miss the target.
South Africa made their second substitution of the game in the 86th minute as Fagrie Lakay was brought on in place of Thibang Phete before Ghana brought on Richmond Boakye-Yiadom to replace Kamaldeen Sulemana a minute later.
Bafana pressed forward in the closing stages of the game as they went in search of an equalising goal but Ghana held on for the win to send them to the next round of the qualifiers.
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