The Oldham Athletic midfielder put on a polished display in the centre of the park – along with Reneilwe Letsholonyane and May Mahlangu – an area of the game the Eagles were expected to dominate.
Furman was often the starting point of attack, and a saviour in defence during 120 minutes of football, which ended even at 1-1, and forced a penalty shoot-out.
He was tasked with the second kick after Siphiwe Tshabalala had scored Bafana’s first penalty. Furman hit his low and to the left but Mali goalkeeper Soumbeyla Diakite, who has a good reputation from the spot, saved the effort.
“In training I took it the exact same way, aimed for the same spot and it went in,” he told KickOff.com.
“I’m devastated, I’m totally devastated. It’s hard not to let it get to you when you know how much it means to the team and millions of people. We played well today; it’s just so hard to take.”
Furman, who has become a fan favourite, will have the chance to compete on another big stage when he returns to England, as Oldham tackle Everton in the FA Cup fifth round on February 16.