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Win over Egypt may not save South Africa coach


Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) – South Africa defeated Egypt 1-0 Tuesday in the Nelson Mandela Challenge friendly match in Soweto, but the win may not save coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba from the axe.

There is strong media speculation that Mashaba will be fired this weekend after a disastrous 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign ended last Friday with a 1-1 home draw against minnows Mauritania.

Expected to contest first place in Group M with eventual winners Cameroon, Bafana Bafana (The Boys) finished a humiliating third behind Mauritania after winning just one of six qualifiers.

South Africa Football Association officials meet Saturday to discuss Mashaba with the opening round of the 2018 World Cup group phase in Africa set for next month.

The 1996 Cup of Nations winners are in a mini-league with favourites Senegal, Cape Verde and Burkina Faso and only the winners qualify for Russia.

Mashaba refused to discuss his future after the match and has previously resorted to bizarre behaviour to silence what he believes to be an unfair media campaign against him.

He brought his son, who is not a journalist, to several media conferences to ask ‘positive’ questions, and long rambling answers greatly reduced the time available to other reporters.

The goal that won the Nelson Mandela Challenge — an annual friendly match between South Africa and invited opponents — came after seven minutes when Mpho Makola headed in a Mandla Masango cross.

Mohamed Salah from Italian club Roma came close to equalising several times during the second half.

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