Bernard Parker came within 100 yards of becoming a national treasure in South Africa. It was only the distance between two goals that kept him from reaching that status.
Parker scored twice in South Africa’s 2-1 loss to Ethiopa on Sunday. His second goal was perhaps the most spectacular and unfortunate of the Bafana Bafana forward’s career.
The score was tied 1-1 in the 70th minute when Parker jumped to head a free kick and thundered a header into the goal. Unfortunately, he scored on his own goal, sending Ethiopia into ecstasy and South Africa out of the World Cup.
South Africa needed to win in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in order to progress to the final round of CAF World Cup qualifying. The loss gave Ethiopia an insurmountable lead atop Group A and seemingly ended South Africa’s hopes of reaching Brazil in 2014.
It only seems that way because Ethiopia faces accusations that it fielded an ineligible player in its 2-1 win over Botswana on June 8. FIFA is investigating the matter, and it could strip Ethiopa of three points if it is determined that the allegations are true. South Africa would then be in position to sneak into the final round of qualifying.
See Parker’s bullet header in the video below.