Full frontal attack by Somma and Mphela for Bafana

2011-03-24 00:00

BAFANA Bafana’s leading scorer for the past two years, Katlego Mphela, is keen on a link-up up-front with Leeds United forward Davide Somma to try to undo Egypt in Saturday’s crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier at Ellis Park.

South Africa have had a good start to the qualifiers for the 2012 AFCON finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon with a home win over Niger and away draw against Sierra Leone seeing Bafana top Group G with four points.

Three-time successive African champions Egypt had a disastrous start, drawing at home against Sierra Leone and losing away against Niger to be bottom of the group on one point.

It’s a perfect scenario for Bafana, should they beat the Pharaohs, to all but dash the chances of their most dangerous group opponents. On the other hand, should a declining but still hugely experienced Egypt manage to win they will reduce the deficit to a point, with a home return against South Africa lined up in Cairo in June.

Mphela, who has scored 18 goals for South Africa in 37 appearances, has not paired up with Somma yet due to missing Bafana’s last two games due to injury and then his self-imposed exile at Mamelodi Sundowns.

Somma made his debut and had some good touches in the 1-0 defeat to USA in Cape Town in November and then was the lone scorer in the 1-0 victory against Kenya in Rustenburg last month.

“Davide’s a good player. I’ve played with him in training and we are starting to get to know each other,” Mphela told Football365.com.

“He’s a strong lad who plays as a target man and if I play with him, I will try to play deeper while he tries to hold the ball up. I think it can work well,” he added.

While Mphela believes he can establish a good understanding with Somma, he said he will back Pitso Mosimane should the Bafana coach opt for an attacking trio of Mphela, Somma and Bernard Parker up-front.

“He [Mosimane] is showing Egypt that we are not afraid of them. If they come attacking we will attack them as well,” the Sundowns striker said.

“If we put three players up-front they won’t be that stupid and try to attack with eight men. They will try to put bodies behind. It is a risk, but the best way of defending is to attack. I think that’s what the coach is trying to do,” he added.

Mphela believes the Pharaohs have little option but to come to Johnnesburg and attack, and says this could open up spaces for Bafana to exploit.

“They only have one point in the group so they will have to try and attack and get the win. That should open up space for us to attack and we have to make sure we take our chances,” he said.

“We are experienced now and we know how to get a result. We have played against bigger teams before so there is nothing to fear. We want to show Egypt that we are not afraid of them,” the striker said.

“We have well known players like Steven Pienaar and Siphiwe Tshabalala so we know we are good enough.”

“ We played against Spain and Brazil [in the 2009 Confederations Cup] and even though we lost, we did well.”

“We played France in the World Cup and we beat them. Ghana came here and we beat them so I think we have improved. We know how to win games. Actually I don’t see Egypt causing us problems,” Mphela said.

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