South African fans celebrate with fans, who attend match for first time after Covid restrictions are eased during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
South African fans celebrate with fans, who attend match for first time after Covid restrictions are eased during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana earn a significant jump in the FIFA rankings after back-to-back wins over Ethiopia

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana’s outstanding outing in their recent 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia earned them a significant jump in the FIFA and CAF rankings, the recent statistics from the football governing body showed on Thursday.

After bagging four points in the first two qualifiers, after a draw with Zimbabwe and win over Ghana, Bafana climbed to the top spot in Group G. But they needed something special in their next two matches against bogey side Ethiopia.

Bafana had never beaten the Ethiopians in the qualifiers, drawing at home, before losing away. But the new-look Bafana rewrote the history book as they won 3-1 away from home before completing the rout by a 1-0 victory at FNB Stadium.

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Those back-to-back wins ensured that Bafana remained top of their group with 10 points, one ahead of Ghana. Bafana’s fate is in their hands, meaning they’ll need a win against Zimbabwe and a draw with Ghana to qualify for the third round.

But so far so good in coach Hugo Broos’ restructuring phase. His team’s two wins against Ethiopia saw them climb to 66th in the world rankings – an impressive seven place jump from the lowly 73rd position that they held before.

On the continent, moreover, they also jumped one place up – from 13th to 12th. This will be good and encouraging news for Broos who’s eager to lead Bafana to their first ever World Cup since 2010 – where they merely qualified as hosts.

@MihlaliBaleka

IOL Sport

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