Cape Verde did the unimaginable as they hauled six vital points from South Africa following a convincing 2-1 win on the road at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in the return leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifier on Tuesday, 5 September.
The Blue Sharks came into the match high on confidence after shocking the South Africans five days ago with the same margin at the Estadio Nacionale in Praia.
Knowing that anything less than a victory would see them kiss their World Cup dreams goodbye, South Africa went for an all-out attack from the opening whistle.
Hlompho Kekana coming on for former teammate, Bongani Zungu was first to test Josimar Dias with a long-range effort in the seventh minute which went wide. Danilson Da Cruz immediately returned the favour just a minute later with an ambitious strike that hardly troubled Bafana Bafana goalie Wayne Sandilands.
In-form striker, Tokelo Rantie should have grabbed the lead for the hosts as early as the ninth minute after some questionable defending saw the striker pounce on a loose ball but fired wide off the mark with his weaker foot.
The Sharks seemed to have no problem in allowing Bafana to have the ball as most of their play was foiled in the final third with quick transitions from the Islanders.
Ryan Mendes, who caused a lot of problems in Praia for the South Africans was denied by Sandilands who tipped over his ambitious effort from the right.
Themba Zwane’s creativity in the middle of the park gave Bafana a lot going forward. The skilful winger almost created the opener after doing well to beat his marker and lay a ball for Mamelodi Sundowns teammate, Hlompho Kekana who failed to direct his effort from a good position.
The visitors started like a house on fire in the second half and created the first clear opportunity seconds after the restart. This was the first warning which the home team failed to take note of.
Rantie then came close on the 49th minute but his shot narrowly missed the target.
Cape Verde deservedly took the lead in the 52nd minute after Morgan Gould had conceded a free kick in the danger area and Rodrigues’ stinging shot gave Sandilands no chance.
Rodrigues then completed his brace with another stinging drive on the 66th minute after doing well to cut in from the left and fire a rocket that left Sandilands with no chance.
Substitute Andile Jali reduced the deficit in the 88th minute but it was a question of too little too late.
Bafana Bafana now languish at the bottom of Group D with 4 points and while they still have a mathematical chance of going to Russia, it will be quite difficult with the next matches against Senegal and Burkina Faso.