Bafana break into the world Top 40

Bafana have made an amazing climb up the world rankings, breaking into the Top 40 for the first time in a while. This report from Sy Lerman of the SA Press Association

What might seem as nothing less than amazing after Bafana Bafana’s systematic decline in the Fifa world rankings to close to the 100 mark, the turnaround in the fortunes of South Africa’s national soccer team under coach Pitso Mosimane continued on Wednesday with an eight-position improvement to 39th position.

Picture: Etienne Rothbart. Katlego Mphela celebrates after scoring a last-minute goal against Egypt to give Bafana Bafana a 1-0 win last month. The win helped the SA national team climb into the Top 40 of the world.

It gained for South Africa a best ranking in almost six years after the improvement of 56 positions in less than 12 months. It also elevated Bafana to a fifth ranking in Africa after having at one stage descended to a dismal 15th on the continent.

Bafana’s latest improvement comes in the wake of the 1-0 African  Nations Cup qualifying win over holders Egypt who, with Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast constitute one of the continent’s countries who are better-placed in the ranking than South Africa.

Bafana coach Mosimane said the improvement was both heartening and encouraging, but was no cause for the current crop of players to rest on their laurels.

“We are still to ensure a place in next years African Nations Cup of Nations in spite to our heartening recent results,” said Mosimane, “and the big goal of working towards a place in the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil has not even started.”

Meanwhile, World Cup holders Spain continue to head the world ranking with the Netherlands second and five-times World Cup winners Brazil replacing Germany in third position. – Sapa

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