Cameroon the real threat but ‘banana peels’ could make Bafana slip up

2015-04-09 14:10

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Bafana Bafana’s toughest test in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will be against Cameroon.

They will also have to overcome Gambia and Mauritania in Group M as they hope to reach the finals in Gabon.

But those two teams shouldn’t give Bafana too many problems. According to Fifa rankings, Gambia are 156th in the world, while Mauritania are 120th in the world.

Cameroon, on the other hand, are ranked 48th in the world and 9th on the continent.

The four-time Afcon champions failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year, just like Bafana.

But both teams will fancy their chances of qualifying for the 2017 tournament against the two lower-ranked teams who have never made the tournament before.

Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba said he was happy with the draw but added that it would not be a walk in the park.

“Some may see this as a relatively easy group and on paper it is but on the field it is a different story altogether,” Mashaba told

“I have said before that there are no easy matches in international football anymore; football has changed and every country will give it a go.

“While we may know much about Cameroon, not much is said about Gambia and Mauritania, and those could be our banana peels,” he said.

According to Mashaba, Bafana would have to do what they did during the 2015 qualifiers, “be brave, show no respect but above all, prepare thoroughly and take nothing for granted”.

Bafana dropped to 60th in the world rankings today and are now 16th in Africa.

The first round of qualifying fixtures takes place on June 8-16.

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