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Bafana Suffer Controversial Loss To End WC Hopes

Bafana Bafana’s World Cup dreams came to an end as they lost 1-0 to Ghana, thanks to a dubious penalty, as Group G was decided in the World Cup qualifier at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Ghana.

Bafana had started the match three points ahead of Ghana, knowing any result other than defeat would see them progress to the final qualifying round.

But it was not to be as Bafana found themselves on the wrong side of decisions throughout the match.

As expected, it was a cagey start to the encounter, with Mohammed Kudus having the first real shot at goal, from a free kick in the 7th minute, but it flew over Ronwen Williams’ goal. Baba Idrissu’s long range effort in the 9th minute was off target. 

Daniel Kofi, an early sub for the injured Kudus, had a great chance in the 16th minute, but after racing clear, he shot over the goal.

With decisions not going Bafana’s way, things turned worse when Ghana were awarded a questionable penalty by Senegalese referee Maguette Ndiaye in the 32nd minute, when Rushine De Reuck was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Amartey. It was a soft penalty, and was one of many decisions to go against the South Africans in the first half.

Andre Ayew stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Williams the wrong way to make it 1-0.

At half-time Ghana held onto their 1-0 lead, and the advantage had swung in their favour, as Bafana struggled to find momentum against an aggressive opponent, and questionable officiating.

Williams saved a free kick attempt from Jordan Ayew in the 48th minute, and made another save from a set piece in the 55th minute as the decisions continued to go in Ghana’s favour.

Bafana were awarded a dangerous free kick in the 65th minute, and while Percy Tau’s shot was on target, it was straight down the throat of Joseph Wollacott. A minute later Andre Ayew headed over at the other end.

Tau was on target again in the 69th minute, shooting from just outside the area, but Wollacott got down to make the save. Kamal Suleymana shot over a minute later on the counter.

Tau’s appeals for a penalty in the 73rd minute fell on deaf ears, while Williams saved from an Andre Ayew free kick two minutes later.

It could have been two to Ghana, with Williams caught out of his box sweeping, but Suleymana’s effort with the goal beckoning went wide.

Despite a late charge, Bafana weren’t able to get a goal, and Ghana held on for the win to go through to the next stage.

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