1996 African champions South Africa have embarked on a winning run that has seen them go close to securing their place at the 2022 edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) billed for Cameroon in the middle of the 2021/22 season. The South Africans have been able to put together a three-match winning run in Group C of the AFCON qualifiers for the tournament proper.
They had started with a loss on matchday 1 of the qualifiers only to recover with wins on matchday 2, matchday 3 and matchday 4. In their first qualifier, South Africa were guests of the Black Stars of Ghana and the game ended in a 2-0 defeat for them. New Arsenal signing Thomas Partey and Ajax Amsterdam forward Mohammed Kudus got the goals for the hosts.
Ghana midfielder Partey gave his country the lead on 35 minutes before Kudus wrapped up the points with ten minutes left on the clock of the game played in November 2019. Some days later, South Africa recovered from that loss to beat Sudan 1-0 on matchday 2 with Guingamp FC of France player Lebogang Phiri getting the goal for the hosts.
Matchdays 3 and 4 were played against the group’s whipping boys Sao Tome and Principe. Percy Tau (penalty) and Bongani Zungu with the goals for the South Africans as they beat Sao Tome 2-0 at home on matchday 3 before recording a 4-2 victory away from home over the same opponents.
South Africa have nine points from four games and they still have a lot of work to do to seal qualification to AFCON 2022 in Cameroon. They currently trail Ghana on goal difference with the Black Stars also on nine points.
The two teams meet on matchday 5 with South Africa hoping to avenge the aforementioned matchday 1 loss at home, while matchday 6 will see South Africa travel to face Sudan in what could be a tricky fixture. Sudan are also in the race to qualify for Cameroon 2022. They are in third position with six points, while bottom team Sao Tome are last on the table.