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Bafana Bafana's proud record against North African teams



South Africa's clash with Libya in the African Nations Cup qualifiers this Saturday will complete their set of North Africans opponents, coming some 20 years since they last debuted against a team from that region.

Bafana Bafana have never met Libya before at national team level, although upon the team's re-admission to international football in 1992, one of their opening opponents was due to be the Mediterranean Knights.

But ironically, sanctions against the government of then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi saw the country withdraw from the 1994 World Cup qualifiers and the chance for the two sides to meet was gone.


Fast-forward 26 years and they finally will go to battle on the pitch in what is a crucial game for Bafana to instill some confidence back into the national team and take a giant step towards the Nations Cup finals in Cameroon next June.

Both sides started with victories in their opening matches, Bafana an excellent 2-0 away win in Nigeria, while Libya thrashed Seychelles 5-1 at 'home' in neutral Cairo.

Bafana have met all four other North African sides down the years, and generally have a favourable record. They generally present a different challenge to teams from the rest of the continent and tend to be less physical, but more tactically aware and difficult to break down.


KweséESPN looks at South Africa's record against the quartet of teams they have faced in that region, with an overall record of 26 games played, 11 wins, five draws and eight losses.

EGYPT

First Match: 1995

Last Match: 2016

Record: P11 W6 D1 L4 GF10 GA8


Egypt have been a power of Africa for much of the last three decades but have more often than not met their match in Bafana Bafana.

South Africa have won more than half their meetings and outscored their opponents, with their last clash a 1-0 success in a friendly in 2016 as Mpho Makola got the only goal on debut.

They have met Egypt comfortably more than any other North African nation, and The Pharaohs might claim superiority after beating Bafana in the final of the Nations Cup in 1998, their most important fixture to date.



ALGERIA

First Match: 1996

Last Match: 2015

Record: P4 W1 D2 L1 GF4 GA5

Algeria have been somewhat rare opponents in the last 26 years and almost always at Nations Cup finals.

Bafana won 2-1 in 1996 in their first international during a tense quarterfinal of the Nations Cup as they marched towards the trophy, while Algeria gained revenge in 2015 as they beat South Africa in Equatorial Guinea.

The other two games ended in draws to leave the head-to-head at honours even. 

TUNISIA

First Match: 1996

Last Match: 2008

Record: P6 W2 D1 L3 GF7 GA9

The only North African team to get the better of Bafana on head-to-head is Tunisia, though even then it is quite a close contest.

The sides have not met in a decade since Bafana were roundly beaten on a wet evening in Ghana at the Nations Cup finals, with Tunisia claiming three wins to two and a single draw.

Those three wins for Tunisia have come in the last four games, after South Africa had enjoyed some early success.

MOROCCO

First Match: 1998


Last Match: 2013


Record: P5 W2 D3 L0 GF9 GA6

Bafana have proven something of a bogey side for Morocco down the years and have yet to taste defeat against the Atlas Lions.

All bar one of their matches have come at Nations Cup finals, with Bafana winning in 1998 on their way to a final defeat to Egypt, and in 2002.

The last three clashes have ended in a draw.

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