Pressing Issues: Bafana Bafana need to bring back the glory

2012-06-02 15:12

There was a time when matches pitting our beloved Bafana Bafana against Ethiopia and Botswana was regarded as a walkover.

The result would be a forgone conclusion long before the referee even blew the first whistle.

But alas! How the mighty have fallen?

Today’s clash with the Black Lions, as well as Saturday’s sojourn across the Tlokweng border gate to face a vastly improved Zebras (Dipitse), provides Pitso Mosimane with a chance to redeem his and the team’s eroded pride.

These two matches will set the tone for what is to be expected on Bafana’s rocky road to the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

Suffice to say, our team has not covered themselves in glory in the past few years.

Statements coming out of the camp this week left doubts about whether the attitude has changed within the team.

A sound bite from one of the players was “we are going into this match as favourites”.

This suddenly sent a shiver down my spine and brought back sad memories of that infamous Bafana “victory” jig.

One doubts that there is still any match that Bafana go into as “favourites”, given their recent results.

Despite being one of the three teams that took part in the inaugural African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 1957 along Egypt and Sudan, Ethiopia are not a superpower.

They are no slouches either, having made 10 appearances in the continental showpiece and claiming the title in 1962.

Their Fifa ranking of 138 to Bafana’s 67 should engender some hope and confidence in our boys, but they have just disappointed so many times.

Botswana’s ascendency that saw them participate in their first Afcon earlier this year, should be cause for concern.

The fact that they have so many players plying their trade in Mzansi gives them an edge in insights on Bafana Bafana’s strengths and weaknesses.

However, with the right attitude, proper preparation, which one hopes is what took place in Rustenburg since last week, Bafana should bring the bacon home.

This – as the Chinese proverb says about a journey of a thousand miles starting but with one step – is just the beginning of Bafana’s rocky road to the land of the samba.

The South African soccer fan has suffered a lot of lows lately: Please Mosimane and the boys, give us something to cheer about.

In the words of the departed crooner with that inimitable baritone, Barry White: “Bring Back My (Our) Yesterday.”


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