Bafana Bafana lost 2-1 to the Black Stars of Ghana as Shakes Mashaba’s side were eliminated from the 2015 AFCON tournament taking place in Equatorial Guinea.
As has been the case, Bafana Bafana took the lead but allowed the opposition to come back and steal the show.
Mandla Masango gave Bafana Bafana the first half lead with a sublime strike in the 17th minute but late strikes by John Boye and Andre Ayew, son of legendary Abedi Pele, put paid to any chances South Africa had of making it into the last 8 as Ghana, who lost the opening game to Senegal topped the Group.
It was a sad end for Bafana Bafana who had entered into the finals in Equatorial Guinea on the back of a long unbeaten run.
After Masango had given South Africa the lead in the opening 20 minutes, the match immediately turned into war of attrition as it became a ding dong affair.
With news that Algeria was winning by a single goal, it meant South Africa had to push forward for another goal to proceed to the next round.
But instead of pushing forward in the second half, it was the Black Stars who started on the offensive but Brilliant Khuzhwayo and his back four kept things tight.
Khuzhwayo was in the thick of action again punching the ball clear in the 55th minute from a good cross as Ghana threw every man upfront.
Erick ‘Tower’ Mathoho was in the meantime clearing all the high balls as Ghana continued to pump long ball into the box.
In the 70th minute, Ghana then made a double substitution in a bid to add some bite upfront and immediately equalised when substitute John Boye scored after he collected a loose ball inside the box and his strike gave Khuzhwayo no chance to make it 1-1.
Kwesi Appiah then hit the upright moments later as the double substitution started to pay dividends.
It was at this juncture that South Africa needed to regroup as they were constantly pushed on the back foot. They Black Stars forced one corner after the other as they searched for the winner.
In the 82nd minute, Ghana took the lead through Andre Ayew whose perfect header gave Khuzhwayo no chance as Bafana Bafana again gave away yet another lead as has been the case in their previous two games.
It is not all doom and gloom for Mashaba and his rising charges and will have to pick up the pieces in the forthcoming competitions as the rebuilding exercise continues.