Bafana must redeem themselves

2012-02-25 20:52

Bafana Bafana and Senegal will be out to redeem themselves when they meet in a friendly at Moses Mabhida on Wednesday.

While Senegal had a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations, losing all their games and going home without a point, Bafana have also been on the decline, with the supporters losing confidence in the team.

Senegal coach Amara Traore, with his technical staff, paid the price following the team’s poor performances at the tournament.

Karim Sega Diouf and Aliou Cisse have taken over in the interim as Senegal’s Lions coaches and have left out Newcastle’s Demba Ba from the team for the game.

While coach Pitso Mosimane would not openly acknowledge the pressure in which he finds himself, reports of divisions in the Safa national executive committee about Mosimane’s abilities to lead the team are clear indications that he might be running out of time to change the team’s misfortunes.

Bafana need to arrest their spate of draws and start winning games if they are to win back the hearts of supporters. And a win against the Senegal Lions will go a long way to restoring the supporters’ confidence.

Mosimane has recalled senior players who were overlooked for the two practice matches against Zambia and Ghana last month.

Captain Steven Pienaar, who is now getting game time since his loan move back to his old side Everton, will lead the team while goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will reclaim his number one spot after recovering from the back injury he sustained when Bafana played Sierra Leone last year.

But it is upfront where Mosimane would have concerns as the team has always been found wanting in this department.

The coach has stuck with Mamelodi Sundowns’ out-of-sorts striker Katlego Mphela and with Jomo Cosmos’ Siyabonga Nontshinga.

Although Mphela has always made the difference when wearing the national colours, his club form has been worrying of late.

Mosimane has also roped in in-form Free State Stars striker Edward Manqele and Sundowns’ Lebohang Mokoena.

Bafana will have to do without Orlando Pirates players after Mosimane opted not to include them in the team as they have a mammoth task ahead, playing Angolan side Recreativo do Libolo in the African Champions League.

After dropping places in the latest Fifa rankings, the two countries will want to climb back up the ladder.

Bafana have dropped two places to 58 in the world and 10 on the continent, while Senegal were the biggest casualties, dropping 25 places to 68 and 16, respectively.

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