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Bafana's history with Senegal littered with disappointment

South Africa's victory against Senegal last year, and the upcoming forced replay of their World Cup qualifier, is just another chapter in what has been a difficult history for Bafana Bafana against the west African side. 

The teams have had a number of high-profile meetings in the past where Bafana Bafana have not achieved the desired result, even though they have only lost outright in two of their previous eight encounters.

There is no room for slip-ups now as Bafana must claim back-to-back home and away wins over the Senegalese in the next week (Friday in South Africa, next Tuesday in Senegal) to book a place at the World Cup in Russia, but history suggests that will be an enormous challenge.

It has been 15 years since their first encounter, a Nelson Mandela Challenge clash in 2002 that ended in a 1-1 draw, with Senegal claiming the penalty shoot-out 4-1. The West Africans had been invited to face Bafana on the back of their excellent showing at the World Cup in South Korea/Japan earlier in the year, when they reached the quarterfinals. Shaun Bartlett had given South Africa the lead in the second half, but just two minutes later Mamadou Niang equalised for the visitors as he netted his second of 20 goals in Senegal colours. 

South Africa's only other visit to Dakar was for a pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendly in 2004, and Senegal came out on top again, claiming a 2-1 success. Siyabonga Nomvethe had Bafana in front early, but Pape Malick Diop equalised, and an own-goal late on from Mbulelo Mabizela handed victory to the hosts.

Senegal's good run continued when they arrived in South Africa for another Nelson Mandela Challenge fixture 18 months later, and won 3-2 during current Bafana coach Stuart Baxter's first stint in charge.

There was some dispute about the visitors' opener as it was initially unclear if Souleymane Camara's shot crossed the line, but the goal was allowed by referee Falla Ndoye from Senegal. Ndoye had been handed the whistle after the neutral referees appointed to the fixture did not show up, with the South African Football Association blamed for an administrative blunder. Senegal objected to a South African referee taking charge and just happened to have FIFA-accredited Ndoye in their travelling party, and the local media were not shy about highlighting his performance in post-match coverage

Sibusiso Zuma equalised for Bafana, but they were behind again when Ndoye awarded a controversial free-kick to the visitors. Camara saw his effort saved, but Diomansy Kamara headed the ball into the empty net. Nomvethe equalised with 20 minutes remaining as Bafana looked to take control, but they were undone by a late winner again from Momar Ndiaye, who produced a fine finish to beat Rowen Fernandez.

Bafana went into their 2008 Afcon Group D match believing that victory over Senegal, in what was their last pool match, could see them into the knockout stages. They dominated the play, but were unable to convert their chances, with Siphiwe Tshabalala -- who returns to the squad for Friday's clash after an absence of almost four years -- among the chief culprits.

Elrio van Heerden had Bafana ahead, but they were pegged back by Henri Camara's equaliser in a 1-1 draw. In the end a win would not have been enough as Tunisia and Angola manufactured a 0-0 draw that saw both those teams advance.

The sides then played to a 0-0 draw in a friendly in Durban in 2012, before they met again at Afcon in a Group C clash in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea, in 2015.

Oupa Manyisa handed Bafana a deserved lead just after halftime, but Kara Mbodji equalised for Senegal and again the South Africans were wasteful with their finishing for a result that effectively ended their chances of reaching the knockout phase.

There was another friendly clash in September of that year in Orlando as South Africa registered a first victory, with Mpho Makola scoring on debut 12 minutes from the end.


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