Shakes Mashaba hopes for repeat of 1992’s win

2014-10-10 14:16

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Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba hopes that history will repeat itself when his team takes on Congo-Brazzaville tomorrow afternoon. Kickoff is 4.30pm South African time.

Back in 1992, Mashaba faced the Congo in his first game in charge of Bafana and won the game 1-0 at the FNB Stadium in the World Cup qualifier.

So when he leads the team in the crucial 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Pointe-Noire tomorrow, he will be hoping for a similar result.

“It was my first time as a national coach and starting with a win was very good. I am hoping for the same thing again at their expense,” said Mashaba.

However, Mashaba said he was expecting a physical game from what he has seen from the hosts.

“The only thing I am worried about is the officiating because this game needs a strong referee who will not hesitate to take decisions and stamp his authority on the game. If the two teams don’t become physical it will be one of the best games.”

He said it was important for his team to go out there and make the country proud.

“The message to the players is let’s go there and make the country proud. We know it is not going to be easy but we are happy with the preparations. From what I have seen [Congo] are a quality side with some good players and their confidence is high after beating Nigeria but we have what it takes to surprise them. Playing away from home is always easy for our boys as they double their efforts and I hope this will be the case in the game.”

He said the game was not just about the three points but about qualification for Morocco’s tournament. Bafana will host Congo’s Red Devils in Polokwane on Wednesday.

“These two matches are defining moments for our qualifications because if we win the two games we are home and dry, and this is what we are going for. We are here for a win and we are not going to be cautious in our approach as that might backfire on us.”

Mashaba was also hopeful that the weather gods would continue to smile on the visitors because it has been cool since the team arrived yesterday afternoon.

“The football gods are smiling on us so far and we hope it stays like this for the game because playing on an artificial turf in conditions like this will be better for us.”

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