I’m ready for Bafana battle against Senegal – Mathoho

2015-01-22 15:25

Returning Bafana Bafana defender Eric Mathoho has warned Senegal to expect a mother of all battles tomorrow.

Mathoho, who missed Bafana’s 3-1 loss to Algeria in their opening of the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday as he was serving a one-match suspension, says he is ready and eager to get Bafana’s Afcon campaign back on track at Senegal’s expense. Kick off is at 9pm SA time.

Mathoho was sorely missed by the team as his absence left a hole in the heart of the defence. He was outstanding in all Bafana’s qualifying games and said he was gutted on Monday when there was nothing he could do to help the team against Algeria.

He wants to take out the frustrations of missing the opening game on Senegal and cannot wait for tomorrow evening.

“This is what I have been waiting for. It is a big moment for me and I am ready for them. I am excited to be back in the team and hopefully my presence will help the team win our next two games and proceed to the knockout stages of the tournament,” said the Kaizer Chiefs defender.

“I was emotionally touched as I wanted to play all the games but now the suspension is over I am eager to go.”

He said he was not scared of the physically-intimidating Senegalese.

“They are taller like me but sometimes height does not play an important role in football but your brain helps you to do the right things at the right times. We need to be mentally strong and disciplined, especially when defending set pieces as that’s where they are strong. But I will match them pound for pound because of my height.”

He said he was impressed with the back four which started against Algeria on Monday but said they would need to improve on their communication.

“The team only made few mistakes which Algeria capitalised on but it was a good performance.”

Tower said he was looking forward to a cracker of a game as they know only a victory would improve their chances of progressing further in the tournament.

“We made things difficult for ourselves and we are now under pressure to win our next games but I am confident we can do that.”

Mathoho will most likely partner Thulani Hlatshwayo at centre back.

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