They came, they fought valiantly, but didn't conquer. Yet not all hope is lost for Bafana on the road to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Considering their struggles over the years, Bafana Bafana's opening Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying clash against the established powerhouse that is Morocco was possibly going to play out like the tale of the three little pigs and the devious wolf.
That proved to be the case as Hugo Broos' men were vanquished 2-1 by the daunting Atlas Lions in front of thousands of Moroccans who turned out to paint the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium blood-red - the national colour of the North African country.
Though South Africa went to the break with a lead, thanks to a well-taken goal by Belgium-based forward Lyle Foster, all the plaudits were for the team's goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams. He kept them in the game with brilliant saves as the Atlas Lions huffed and puffed in a bid to reduce Bafana's house to rubble.
After gradually chipping away at it, the Moroccans eventually made a dent in Bafana's structure. Youssef En-Nesyri scored an equaliser early in the second half to cancel out Foster's eighth-minute strike.
Williams continued in...