South African coach Ephraim Mashaba claimed that he is extremely happy with the performance given by his team in the game against Gambia.
After back-to-back draws in the qualifying games against Cameroon, South Africa were in desperate need of three points in order to put them back into contention for reaching the tournament final. It certainly came in the form of a 4-0 win. The timing of the victory could not have been much better, as South Africa have now moved within a point of second placed Mauritania.
Only the top two teams qualify for the final with the second team having to go through play-offs.
At this stage,Mashaba will be happy even with reaching the play-offs. Cameroon have a substantial lead in the table, as they are a further four points away fromMauritania.
South Africa’s final qualification match will be againstnone other than Mauritania. It will be a do or die game for the Bafana Bafana, who were extremely good in the game against Gambia according to their manager. If South Africa failed to reach the African Cup of Nations next year, it may lead toMashaba’s position coming under review. The 4-0 win over Gambia was the biggest win during the African Cup of Nations 2017 qualifier.
“That was total football from the boys and it only goes to show the amount of potential we have in the country. Winning by such a massive margin and away from home shows this team can go places. Since our arrival here in Banjul, Gambia had constantly warned us that they wanted to humiliate us to finish the campaign on a high. But my boys had other ideas; their desire to win, the hunger in their eyes and will to do something special was there for all to see,” saidMashaba.