Bafana Bafana revive World Cup hopes

South Africa thrashed Burkina Faso 3-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, to revive their hopes of reaching the world showpiece in Russia.

Despite the victory, Bafana Bafana remain fourth in the group standings with four points, while the Stallions remain at the top of the table, but the former have a game in hand.

The home side got off to the best possible start as they took the lead after Percy Tau's header was judged to have crossed the goal-line, just a minute into the encounter.

Prejuce Nakoulma had a chance to level matters from close range soon afer, but the Burkina Faso forward's effort was deflected out for a corner-kick which was cleared away by the hosts.

Bafana were happy to sit back and launch quick counter-attacks with Tau playing as a lone striker, while the Stallions were struggling to unlock the hosts' defence.

Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte made a tactical change in the 33rd minute - pulling out winger Cyrille Bayala in favour of Aristide Bance, a centre forward by trade.

However, Bafana Bafana doubled their lead following a quick move involving Andile Jali and Themba Zwane, as the latter fired past Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi to make it 2-0 to South Africa.

Bafana extended their lead on the stroke of half-time as a long-ball from goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune found Tau who in turn set-up Sibusiso Vilakazi, who made it 3-0 to South Africa.

Bafana were deservedly leading 3-0 at the interval after punishing tthe Stallions, who struggled to cope with South Africa's pace and invention.

Khune, who had a relatively quiet first-half, was seriously tested twice by Burkina Faso's talisman ,Bertrand Traore, within the first 10 minutes of the second-half.

The Bafana Bafana captain denied Traore from close range, before parrying away the Olympique Lyonnais forward's powerful shot from range.

The hosts suffered a blow in the 67th minute when Bongani Zungu, who had been working tirelessly in midfield, was sent off for violent conduct.

Khune had to be alert five minutes later as he denied Stephane Aziz Ki, as the Stallions looked to take advantage of their numerical superiority.

However, Khune was finally beaten in the 86th minute when Bertrand Traore scored with a beautifully curling free-kick with the Kaizer Chiefs goal-minder rooted to the ground.

Nevertheless, South Africa managed to hold onto their two goal lead in the closing stages of the match as they secured a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso.

South Africa (3) 3 (Tau 1', Zwane 34', Vilakazi 45'+1)
Burkina Faso (0) 1 (B.Traore 86')

South Africa: Khune, Mkhize, Hlanti, Gould, Daniels, Jali (Kekana 71'), Zungu, Mokotjo, Zwane, Vilakazi (Manyama 81'), Tau (Ndlovu 86').

Burkina Faso: Koffi, Quattara (Diawara 76'), Kone, Yago, Malo, Kabore, Toure (Ki 69'), Bayala (Bance 33'), Nakoulma, A. Traore, B. Traore.