FIFA ruling dents SA's hopes in Group D

FIFA ruling dents SA's hopes in Group D
Henri Saivet of Senegal celebrates goal with teammates during the Afcon Group B match between Senegal and Zimbabwe on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Sep 07, 2017. 14:00

FIFA's ruling has dented South Africa's hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

This is after FIFA ordered a Group D match between South Africa and Senegal to be replayed after referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for match fixing.

This has come as a major boost for Senegal, who suffered a 2-1 defeat to South Africa last November with the Ghanaian referee making suspicious decisions during the game.

Current Group D leaders Burkina Faso held much-fancied Senegal to a 0-0 draw in Dakar last week, before the two sides drew 2-2 in Ouagadougou on Tuesday.

As a result, Burkina Faso, who have never participated in World Cup finals, have six points from four games.Third-placed Senegal have accumulated five points from three games following FIFA's ruling.

South Africa recorded two back to back defeats to Cape Verde. The 2010 World Cup hosts lost 2-1 to Cape Verde in Praia last week, before suffering another 2-1 loss at home on Tuesday.

The two surprise defeats left South Africa placed fourth with one point from three matches. Cape Verde, who have never qualified for the World Cup finals, are placed second with six points from four games.

As things stand, Senegal are the favourites to win Group D because of their game in hand against South Africa. The rematch is scheduled to take place in November 2017.

However, Burkina Faso have already have collected six points and they will qualify for the global tournament if they win their last two matches, and Senegal losses at least one of their three remaining games.

South Africa will only reach the 2018 finals if they win their remaining matches including the rematch and the other results go their way.

Group D remaining fixtures

7 October 2017 - South Africa vs. Burkina Faso
7 October 2017 - Cape Verde vs. Senegal
6 November 2017 - Senegal vs. South Africa
6 November 2017 - Burkina Faso vs. Cape Verde
November 2017 - South Africa vs. Senegal (exact date to be confirmed in due course)

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