Bafana Bafana qualified for the 2015 AFCON finals scheduled for central African country Equatorial Guinea after overcoming a stubborn Sudan 2-1 at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Bafana now have amassed 11 points and apart from Congo Brazzaville, no other country in the group can reach that target. Two teams from each group qualify for the finals.
Two goals by outstanding Thulani Serero and Tokelo Rantie settled the nerves for the home side who had to endure some nervy last moments after Sudan had pulled one back late in the match.
But Shakes Mashaba’s boys managed to hold on for a famous win which triggered wild celebrations in this stunning coastal city.
There was little to write home about in the opening minutes as both sides struggled to string together constructive passes.
While the home side forced three corners, it was Sudan whose central striker Nazeer Nassir outpaced the Bafana Bafana defence on the 33rd minute but Sibusiso Khumalo did well to avert danger.
It was a good omen as soon after, Serero gave Bafana the lead in 38th minute following a good run involving Rivaldo Coetzee and Rantie to make it 1-0.
Ndulula then missed a great opportunity to make it 2-0 on the 43rd minute when he blasted wide with the keeper well beaten following another good run by the industrious Khumalo.
Anele Ngcongca then pulled a wide ball for Serero in the 45th minute but the Ajax man’s attempt was saved by the Sudanese goalkeeper as Bafana Bafana went to break leading 1-0 and enjoying huge territorial advantage.
Bafana started the second half like house on fire and both Rantie and Ndulula both missed some gilt-edged chances to put the match to bed.
Tokelo Rantie then sealed it for Bafana with a solo goal in the 53rd minute after gliding past Sudan defence before burying a sublime finish into the roof of the net to make it 2-0. This followed a good move by Serero who together with Khumalo and captain Dean Furman had a blinder of a game.
In the 59th min Moeketsi Sekola replaced Bongani Ndulula.
After the second goal, Bafana Bafana started to toy around with the visitors as they literally put them to sword but failed to add to their tally and were almost made to pay dearly for it.
In the 77th minute, Sudan pulled one back to make it 2-1 with a Sulah Ibrahim strike.
Though buoyed by the late strike, the Sudanese tried hard to force a draw but in all fairness, Bafana Bafana deserved the good win.
Bafana Bafana starting XI vs Sudan: Darren Keet (GK), Eric Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Sibusiso Khumalo, Anele Ngcongca, Oupa Manyisa, Dean Furman (Cap), Andile Jali, Thulani Serero, Tokelo Rantie, Bongani Ndulula.
Subs: Brilliant Khuzwayo (GK), Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Tefu Mashamaite, Mandla Masango, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Moeketsi Sekola, Themba Zwane.
Not in match day squad: Siyabonga Mpontshane (GK), Luvolwethu Mpeta, Fagrie Lakay, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Kermit Erasmus, Kwanda Mngonyama, Lehlohonolo Majoro (injured).