Bafana Bafana’s 1-1 draw with Cameroon in a warm-up match for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon on Saturday evening means they have now put together a run of nine unbeaten matches under the guidance of coach Shakes Mashaba.
Mashaba has yet to taste defeat in what is his second permanent appointment with the national team, having taken charge ahead of the qualifiers for the 2015 AFCON back in September 2014.
South Africa could hit double figures in their current unbeaten streak when they play their final preparatory match against Mali in Gabon this Wednesday evening.
With a record of five wins, four draws and zero defeats, the 64-year-old has done a superb job in not only securing qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations from the six competitive matches in which he has held the reins, but also claiming the scalps of two former AFCON champions in the form of Ivory Coast and Zambia in recent friendlies.
It is the second time that ‘Shakes’ has secured a spot in the continental finals, having achieved the same back in 2003 for the AFCON in Tunisia the following year. However, he left the post before having the chance to lead his team in the tournament in North Africa.
Mashaba’s overall record as Bafana coach – which combines a caretaker spell in October 1992, his first permanent spell from August 2002 to November 2003 and his current tenure, which began with his first match in September – currently stands at 28 matches in charge. Seventeen wins, nine draws and just two defeats from that sequence is an outstanding record at international level.
However, the real test for Mashaba will be when he has to lead the team in the AFCON finals later this month. Bafana Bafana have flattered to deceive in the tournament ever since winning it in 1996 and ending as gallant runners-up in 1998.
And they face a tough test in the first round, having been drawn with Algeria, Ghana and Senegal in Group C. However, the growing confidence of the players under Mashaba’s steady hand makes Bafana one of the dark horses for the title.
Shakes Mashaba’s Bafana Bafana coaching record:Share