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Legend Jomo Sono was returned as a senior executive to lead South Africa football

The South African men's national football team represents South Africa in association football and is controlled by the South African Football Association, the umbrella organization for football in South Africa football. South Africa's home stadium is the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, which was named as a result of a naming rights agreement. The team's biggest achievement was winning the 1996 African Nations Cup at home.

After denying their first game in 1924, they returned to the world stage in 1992 after being banned from FIFA for 16 years and detained for 40 years for the apartheid system. South Africa was the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup when it was awarded the host status for the 2010 edition. The team's Siphiwe Tshabalala was also the first player to score a goal in the opening game against Mexico at this World Cup, followed by a Macarena-style goalkeeping by five South African players. Despite defeating France 2-1 in their last group stage game, they failed to qualify in the first round of the tournament and dropped out in the group stage as the first host nation in FIFA World Cup history. Nevertheless, the team took the 20th place out of 32 teams and was thus over 12 teams that had qualified.

After the successful campaigns of the African Nations Cup in 1996 and 1998 and their World Cup debut in 1998, South Africa was considered a growing power on the continent. Under the coach of the newly hired Trott Moloto, they would start the decade strong with a third place finish at the 2000 African Nations Cup, but this was increasingly symptomatic at national level for football in South Africa, which was another coaching change. The Portuguese Carlos Queiroz was hired as the man to take South Africa to the 2002 FIFA World Cup. South Africa qualified for the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations and dropped out in the quarter-final against hosts Mali. In the run-up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where South Africa had easily qualified as Group E winners, Queiroz relinquished his post as head coach in a growing political behind-the-scenes argument.

The former legend Jomo Sono was returned as a senior executive to lead South Africa in Korea / Japan. South Africa, which was placed in Group B alongside Spain football, Paraguay and the Slovenian debutant at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, had high hopes of reaching the knockout phase of the tournament. After a 2-2 draw with Paraguay in the opening game with a penalty by Quinton Fortune and their first victory at the finals with a 1-0 win over Slovenia, South Africa went on to finish second in the group against Spain and 3 points ahead of Paraguay and Slovenia. In the game of the group, which scored 5 goals in an hour, South Africa scored twice from a goal in a painful 3-2 defeat to the Spaniards. In the other match, which started at the same time as the match between South Africa and Spain, Paraguay defeated Slovenia 2-1, but the result was not enough to beat South Africa as a South African goal difference. Zero was superior to Paraguay's minus one. But South African hearts would be broken. After 84 minutes in the Slovenian-Paraguayan game, Nelson Cuevas scored an important third for Paraguay, beating Slovenia 3-1. The victory brought both Paraguay and South Africa 4 points ahead. Cuevas' late strike against Slovenia brought Paraguay's goal difference to zero, as did that of South Africa. The deciding factor was a third tiebreaker; Goals scored, and since Paraguay had scored six out of five goals in South Africa, they made it to the knockout stages at the expense of South Africa. All the more heartbreaking was the early exit, as South Africa were the only team in the group to defeat out-of-control group winner Spain, as both Slovenia and Paraguay were defeated 3-1 by the Spaniards.

In this era (1996-2002), when football became more and more successful, South Africa was blessed with great footballers like record-breaking Benni McCarthy and Shaun Bartlett, defenders and inspirational captains Lucas Radebe and Neil Tovey, creative masters John Moshoeu and Doctor Khumalo and the defensive firm Mark Fish.


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