By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
Former Bafana Bafana and English side Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe has questioned the ability of the current crop of the National team plays especially about playing at the world cup.
Radebe himself a member of the 1996 Africa Cup winning side and represented the country at two world cups in succession. In 1998 and 2002 in France and Japan/South Korea respectively.
South Africa complete their 2018 World Cup qualifier away in Dakar on Tuesday against the hosts. The Lions of Teranga made sure the final match was academic after beating South Africa in their backyard with two first goals. A 12th minute Diafro Sakho goal and own goal by Thamasang Mkhize was enough send Senegal to next year’s World Cup finals.
Radebe a legend of 70 caps for Bafana Bafana reckons the current squad is not ready enough and intimated that just as well they never made to the World show case. “I think this failure might be a blessing in disguise, because do they deserve to go through? That is one question that we have to ask ourselves,” said Radebe.
“But again, we got to that level where we are thinking now, do we have the talent? Are we capable to qualify for this tournament? And the answer is, at the moment the way we are playing, it doesn’t look like that.
Radebe was part of the team tasked to find a replacement for former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba who was relived of duty for insubordination and other related charges.
He was of praise for the current crop and admittedly so that they have the talent. “But I thought, looking at the team that we had, it’s the best team that I’ve seen in the longest time ever. Obviously it is different when it comes to on the field of play.
“But it was always going to be tough against a strong Senegal side. They’ve got quality players and for me we have to learn after a result like this. I mean, if you are going to let in goals like that, you know it’s too easy.”
South Africa started their campaign nicely. Drawing against the Burkinabes in Burkina Faso in first match. A wonderful result in West Africa. They then beat Senegal at home 2-1.
And thet looked on course for their fourth World Cup appearance.
Then the bad news arrived. Fifa found that Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey had with the help of external influence interfered with the made. Subsequently, Lamptey was declared guilty and banned from all football related matters that fall under the Umbrella of Fifa and annulled the final result. A replay was ordered.
A demoralised South Africa played Cape Verde and lost away and home via an identical 2-1 scoreline.
Burkina Faso arrived hoping to finish a bleeding South Africa but got a bitter pill. 3-1 Bafana Bafana were victors. Hope rekindle.
An air of enthusiasm was swinging. But Senegal had other ideas in the replay. Winning 2nil and qualifying for the finals and leaving SA to mourn the home and away loss to Cape Verde.
Radebe believe a win against Senegal was repeatable but it didn’t.
“No, it was doable, because I think the way we beat Burkina Faso, I mean we played brilliant there,” he said.
“We played great. We saw a confident Bafana Bafana and the boys believed in themselves against one of the best teams at the moment. But tonight [on Saturday] it was too much pressure, so much expectations, I think it got to them,”
South Africa travel to Senegal to complete fixture on Tuesday 14th of November 2017..