Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba says he was happy with the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia African Zone qualifiers conducted in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Friday, 24 June 2016.

Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba says he was happy with the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia African Zone qualifiers conducted in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Friday, 24 June 2016.

South Africa is in Group D alongside Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde.

Speaking from Namibia, where he is preparing his squad for the final of the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup against Botswana on Saturday, Mashaba said was probably a kinder draw.

“I am very happy but that does not mean I am saying it is going to be easy. We cannot take any teams lightly anymore. We want to be in Russia in 2018 and we won’t leave anything to chance,” said Mashaba

“We have to prepare thoroughly and be ready to fight all the way. I am confident we will be among the top nations. There is no second best at this stage, only the top teams in their Group will be at the World Cup, and this can only mean we have to start very well and to do that you have to prepare very well. There is no second chance here,” added Mashaba.

“Once we are done with the COSAFA Cup final, I will sit down with my technical team to map the way forward. After the disappointment of not making it to the 2017 AFCON in Gabon, we cannot afford to miss this one. I’m very positive.”

Group B comprising Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria and Nigeria is considered the Group of Death.


Here’s the full draw:

Group A: Tunisia, Libya, Congo DR, Guinea

Group B: Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria, Nigeria

Group C: Gabon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Morocco

Group D: Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde

Group E: Ghana, Egypt, Congo, Uganda


South Africa FIFA World Cup background:
  • Did not qualify for USA 1994 after finishing second in Group D
  • Finished top of Group 3 to qualify for France 1998
  • Qualified for 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup
  • Did not qualify for Germany 2006
  • South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Did not qualify for Brazil 2014

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