South Africa failed to make it past the group stages of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifications after only being able to secure 6 points from the 5 opening matches that they played in group M.
Snatching 6 points from the 5 initial games that South Africa played was not enough for them to advance into the next rounds of the 2017 Cup of Nations and ultimately succumbed to being eliminated in the group stages.
Group M consists of Cameroon, Mauritania, South Africa and Gambia. From this group, Cameroon has ensured their progression to the next stages of the competition as they have finished at the top and Mauritania also have a chance of progressing but this will depend if Mauritania is able to secure a victory in their upcoming match against South Africa which is scheduled to take place on September 2.
Even though South Africa has already drowned in their group and are eliminated, the head coach of South Africa, Ephraim Mashaba has stated thattheir upcoming match against Mauritania will still be an important match as the 66 year old coach said:
“There is no match that doesn’t serve a purpose. We are fortunate to have two back-to-back matches, which will assist us greatly in preparing for the all-important start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifiers. We are away to Burkina Faso in the opening match less than a month after we play Egypt.’’
“Soon thereafter, we will host Senegal. The good thing is the matches are just a month apart and by that time our players will have gained momentum from the league season.”
During the 2013 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa reached the quarter-finals of the competition but this time around their campaign has been significantly worse but Mashaba still appears to be optimistic about the future of the South African national football team as he is aiming to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.