“Now we have to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.”
With these words, Safa president Danny Jordaan cautioned that the mission for Bafana Bafana is not yet complete after the team qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
South Africa booked their ticket to the Afcon in Egypt from June 21 to July 19 after finishing second in Group E of the qualifiers.
“The World Cup is the ultimate dream of the vision 2022. It was important to get to the Africa Cup of Nations and it is important that we land up in the top eight of the 24,” Jordaan said.
“If in June we agree that the 2022 World Cup will be 48 teams, it means Africa will have nine or 10 teams. So if we are in the top eight then we will be topping the group for the World Cup qualification rounds,” he explained.
While the nation is in a celebratory mood, the football association will evaluate Bafana’s qualification run and address issues like why it all went down to the final group game.
“When coach Stuart (Baxter) comes back we will have to look at why is it that we scored six goals against Seychelles and over there we couldn’t score a single goal,” he said.
“Afcon is three games in the group and there is no second chance.”
Injured goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune expressed excitement and admitted that the team had disappointed the nation in the past.
“I am at a loss for words. I am happy for the team and the country,” the Kaizer Chiefs stopper said.
He added: “For us to qualify for this Afcon shows how hungry we were because we know we hurt our people by not qualifying for tournaments.”
The hero of the match for SA was Percy Tau with his brace and stand-in keeper Darren Keet who delivered a splendid performance.
“What great saves Darren made to keep us in the game. It’s always great to see all the departments competing and keeping each other on our toes,” Khune noted.
“I will have to work twice as hard but Darren did well and I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps the number one jersey for now.” -SundayWorld