South Africa’s 2014 World Cup qualifying hopes dashed by spectacular own goal

Dirty Tackle

South Africa needed a win against Ethopia on Sunday night to ensure they progressed to the third round of CAF 2014 World Cup qualification. With the score at 1-1 in Addis Ababa, Bafana Bafana forward Bernard Parker rose to the occasion and connected with a free kick to score a powerful long-range header. It showed superb technique, but an unfortunate lack of directional awareness, as the header ended up in his own net.

Parker's own goal gave Ethiopia three points and an unassailable lead at the top of CAF Group A, effectively ending the 2010 host's chances of making it to Brazil next summer.

However, there is still a slim glimmer of hope for the South Africans, as FIFA are investigating Ethiopia (and two other African teams) for using an ineligible player earlier in the tournament.

If found guilty of fielding a fraud in their 2-1 win over Botswana, the Ethiopians will have three points taken away, which will give Bernard Parker another chance to dash his nation's World Cup dreams with an own goal in the final group game in September.

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