JOHANNESBURG – South Africa achieved their biggest victory when they hammered the Seychelles 6-0 Saturday in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier before a tiny rain-soaked crowd in Johannesburg.
The previous widest winning margin by Bafana Bafana was 5-0 at home to Guatemala in a friendly match as the republic prepared to host the 2010 World Cup.
South Africa scored three times in four minutes midway through the first half with a Nigel Hoareau own-goal followed by goals from captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Lebo Mothiba.
A string of saves from goalkeeper Romeo Barra prevented South Africa going further ahead until Percy Tau and substitutes Dino Ndlovu and Teboho Mokoena netted in a late burst.
Mokoena scored the record-creating sixth goal two minutes into stoppage time with a close-range header off a cross at Soccer City stadium.
The one-sided affair matchday 3 affair in Group E came as no surprise as South Africa are ranked 73rd in the world — 116 places above the Seychelles.
Only a few thousand watched the mismatch in heavy rain despite the public broadcaster not screening the qualifier because of a financial dispute with the national football body.
Matches involving ‘Bafana Bafana’ used to draw 80,000 crowds, but poor results in recent years has seen a dramatic fall-off in attendances.
South Africa have seven points from three matches and Libya four and Nigeria three from two in a three-team chase for two places at the 2019 Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Nigeria, who suffered a shock matchday 1 home loss to South Africa, host Libya later Saturday in Uyo.
In Kampala, Uganda cruised to a 3-0 victory over Lesotho that moved them three points clear of Cape Verde at the top of Group L.
Emmanuel Okwi opened and closed the scoring with a goal in each half and Farouk Miya converted a penalty to give the ‘Cranes’ a two-goal half-time advantage.
Uganda have seven points halfway through the six-round qualifying competition, Cape Verde four and Lesotho and Tanzania two each.
Another eight qualifiers are scheduled for Saturday.
Thulani Hlatshwayo doubled the lead for the hosts in the 25th minute.
The goal rush was not done yet, Lebo Mothiba made it 3-0 in the 27th minute.
The big lead was extended in the second half courtesy of Percy Tau, Dino Ndlovu and Teboho Mokoena.
The big win puts South Africa at the top of Group E with seven points.