Bafana going for the kill

2014-09-28 15:00

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Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba wants the team to take charge of their own destiny in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Mashaba believes the back-to-back games against Congo-Brazzaville next month will determine who will book a place at next year’s tournament in Morocco.

So when Bafana face Congo in Pointe-Noire on October 11 – and four days later at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane – they will be looking to dislodge the Red Devils from the top of the Group?A table.

As a constant reminder to his players on the importance of representing the country, Mashaba said he asked his selected players in camp: “Why do we do things? When do we do them? How are we going to do them?”

Although he does not expect players to break a leg for a victory, he believes a will to win and a sense of determination will see them through.

Mashaba expects a tough outing and issues a reminder of the 1997 events at the same venue, which have left scars in many South Africans’ minds.

“With these two games, the chances of us qualifying are extremely high if we collect maximum points, and this is what we are going for.

We are not going there for a draw – that would suit them as they would still be on top of the group. We have to be on top of the situation, so we have our fate in our hands,” said Mashaba.

He knows things will be completely different after the next two rounds of matches – Nigeria’s Super Eagles are expected to bounce back from their sluggish start at the expense of Sudan, who have lost their opening two rounds.

But he said he would be less concerned about what happens in that game in Sudan because his focus would be solely on Congo.

“For them to be where they are after coming in through the back door means they mean business. They got a second chance and they are riding the crest of the wave and we must stop them,” said Mashaba.

Congo got a lifeline after they replaced Rwanda in the tournament.

Rwanda was disqualified after one of the country’s players was found to have two identities – he was using a different name and a Congolese passport.

Although Mashaba retained most of the players who played against Sudan and Nigeria, he has added six new

faces to the team.

Calls for the inclusion of Kermit Erasmus and Thulani Serero did not fall on deaf ears, Mashaba having added the duo. He also called up Chiefs pair Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Tefu Mashamaite.

Santos striker Fagrie Lakay was also rewarded for helping Amajita qualify for next year’s African Youth Championship in Senegal.

Another new call-up is Maritzburg United defender Kwanda Mngonyama.

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