Hugo Broos says that his youthful national team’s development has taken him by surprise since his arrival earlier this year.
Broos has supervised four matches since replacing Molefi Ntseki in May, winning three and losing one, as Bafana leads Group G with 10 points heading into the last two games of the first round of qualifiers.
South Africa’s main threat going into the final two matches is Ghana, with the group winner progressing to the next round of qualifiers.
Ethiopia and Zimbabwe have little hope of progressing to the next round.
If Ghana wins their match against Ethiopia on Thursday, Bafana will need four points (win and draw) to advance to the next round.
“First of all, I am surprised that we are now in this position because three months ago, I think if you said to someone that we will be first in the group, everybody would laugh,” Broos said.
“We’ve done a fantastic job until now. The players have been fantastic.
“I took players and made choices; sometimes, my choices were not good, and certainly, when I see the (current) 23 players, it changed over the past few months.
“It was difficult for me to make that first selection because I did not know much about South African football, and now I know much more about them.”