Sports gambling handicappers ended up surprised with the World Cup betting performance of the South Africa team and have a new found respect for the program.
South Africa did not emerge out of the Group Stage but they did earn the admiration of gamblers and fans alike for their efforts.
South Africa nearly pulled off one of the biggest sports gambling upsets in the history of the FIFA World Cup as they played heavily favored Mexico to a 1-1 draw in their opener. South Africa had a late breakaway chance in the game’s final moments but failed to capitalize.
That may have been the ultimate difference in their not making the Knockout Stage.
In their second match of the Group Stage South Africa was clearly outclassed by Uruguay in a 0-3 defeat.
In their Group Stage finale, however, the South African team gave their passionate and loyal fans a much deserved 2-1 win over France to end on a solid note.
Head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira chose to stay positive in his review of “Bafana Bafana’s” performance in the tournament.
“I’m proud of these boys,” said the coach, who once led Brazil to a World Cup title. “We know South Africa didn’t have a great position in the FIFA ranking when I came here in November, and since then we’ve lost only one game against Uruguay. We’ve played against a lot of good teams and these boys today have showed that hard work has paid off. Today they have an identity, this is what I said before, we need to have an identity, we need to have a face.”
“I believe the foundation is there for a bright future for South African football,” said Parreira.
South Africa was ranked 83rd in the world heading into the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was known as a program that was in decline. Thanks to Parreiera’s efforts that is no longer the case. Parreira is not likely to return, however, and it will be critical to Bafana Bafana’s future that they find the right coach to continue the improvements and lead the program up to the next level.