Bafana must make the final says Serero

2012-12-29 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa midfielder Thulani Serero says only a place in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final will be good enough for the country.

The continental showpiece will take place on home soil and much will be expected of the hosts.

Serero, whose participation in the tournament remains in doubt as he is still recovering from a troublesome groin injury, believes Bafana Bafana can and must live up to the billing.

“We have to reach the final at least to make the country proud,” the Ajax attacker told BBC Sport. As we are playing at home, there is a very good chance of us winning the Africa Cup of Nations.”

Gordon Igesund’s side are placed in Group A along with Morocco and Angola, and Serero feels that no team can be taken lightly in the showpiece event.

“There are no dark horses in the tournament. Everyone did well to qualify and anyone could win it,” he said.

“We have good players and a good coach and I think the players are hyped up to show the country what they can do. The pressure on the team is very big, but the players and the coaches all know what is expected and surely we will deliver.

“It’s not like the team has been playing badly; we were just not scoring goals.

Hopefully that will change in the tournament. If we do well, everybody will be happy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bafana have extra motivation to do well at the tournament after midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi confirmed that they will be playing for the late Thomas Madigage, the national team assistant coach who was killed in a car accident in October just three months into the job as Gordon Igesund’s number two.

Dikgacoi has revealed the team are hoping to pay tribute to the former SuperSport United assistant in the best possible way — by winning the tournament on home turf.

He told BBC Sport: “Tommy meant a lot to some of us because he improved us as players. It would be perfect if we could win the tournament and dedicate it to him.

“I know some of us have taken his death quite badly. That will be really inspirational for us every time we step onto the pitch.”

Former Golden Arrows enforcer Dikgacoi is currently an integral part of Crystal Palace’s push for promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in England.

He will play his last game for Palace on New Year’s Day against Wolves before leaving for Johannesburg to link with the rest of the Bafana squad.

“We’ve [South Africa] got a couple of games coming up and if we can do well and win those matches it will give us a morale boost. This time is crucial for us and the friendlies will give the coach a good indication of who is in good shape for the tournament,” said the 28-year-old.

— Sport24.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.