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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

WATCH: South Africa's Cup of Nations Idiocy

Bafana Bafana, thinking they’d sealed qualification on goal difference, celebrated their 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone for several minutes before realising they’d actually been eliminated.

FOOTBALL FANS ARE having a tough time getting to grips with the increasing emphasis being placed on head-to-head records as a means of determining the outcome of qualification campaigns, but football teams have been well briefed, right?

Well, not if South Africa’s decision to celebrate its nil-all draw with Sierra Leone on Saturday night was anything to go by. Believing the result enough to secure the team’s qualification for the 2012 African Cup of Nations on goal difference, players danced and cheered in front of home supporters for several minutes.

It was actually Niger, the team with the superior head-to-head record, who secured the final place in the tournament.

Spurs’ Steven Pienaar, watching the game in distant England, was also caught unawares and tweeted every hilarious step of his transition from jubilation to resignation.

Sometimes, the vuvuzela is the saddest sound in the world.

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