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Not all doom and gloom in Black Stars' World Cup failure


South Africa player ratings after Cape Verde debacle

South Africa's 2-1 home World Cup qualifier loss to Cape Verde on Tuesday has dented their chances of reaching the finals in Russia.

It was a desperately disappointing display from Stuart Baxter's side, with few players coming out of the game with reputations enhanced.

In this feature, KweseESPN rates the Bafana Bafana players at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. 6 - Wayne Sandilands: He was brought in to replace the nervy-looking Ronwen Williams after Friday's game in Praia and looked a lot more solid.

However, his positioning for the free-kick struck by Garry Rodrigues could be questioned as he went one way and the ball the other.

5 - Ramahlwe Mphahlele: There was no shortage of application from the right-back as South Africa used that flank for most of their attacks but he let himself down with a poor standard of crossing and some poor decision-making at times.

6 - Morgan Gould: A strong presence at the back, the defender made a glorious tackle to deny a breakaway from Rodrigues in the first half. He is still inclined to costly errors, and it was he who gave away a soft free-kick from which the Cape Verdeans netted their opening goal.

6 - Thulani Hlatshwayo: The captain was caught out of position at times but also showed some good touches and made some timely interventions.

However, his role as skipper has to be reviewed as he does not have the on-field presence needed to galvanise the team in its moments of need.

5 - Sifiso Hlanti: After a poor performance from Tebogo Langerman in Praia, Hlanti was given the left-back role and instructed to play high up. He did so but never made any real effort to take on the opposing full-back, proving far too static and indecisive.

6 - Dean Furman: Another workmanlike performance with many key tackles as he again showed his tremendous work-rate. Staying deep is his best role and he did this to good effect, plus took 'one for the team' by picking up a late yellow card with a potential goal-saving foul.

5 - Hlompho Kekana: Instructed to shoot, he was disappointingly off target with all his efforts, including a free-kick in the first half.

However, he was strong in the midfield, and gave the team more bite after being preferred to Bongani Zungu.

5 - Themba Zwane: A good linkman in the build-ups but never made any impact in and around the box and was the first player to be taken off.

5 - Keegan Dolly: Full of tricks and running but too slow with his passes and poor in his decision-making. He played further forwards and kept the Cape Verde defence on their toes but overall did not make a relevant contribution.

6 - Bradley Grobler: Good in the air and made several good turns to set up chances for himself, only to find the goalkeeper well positioned.

6 - Tokelo Rantie: Did an immense amount of running, but had little to feed off and found himself well watched by the opposing defence. Rantie was one of the players who really tried near the death to revive Bafana's chances. SUBSTITUTES 6 - Lebogang Manyama: Looked lively when he came on, but his pace did not lead to the much-needed breakthrough for South Africa.

6 - Andile Jali: Looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck when he came on and scored but it was too little too late

6 - Percy Tau: A cameo appearance at the end of the game with no real chance to make an impact.


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