Inside Bafana’s Ghana expedition

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Bafana Bafana players and the technical team arrive at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. Photo: Thabang Lepule / Backpagepix
Bafana Bafana players and the technical team arrive at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. Photo: Thabang Lepule / Backpagepix

SPORT


Following a late-night meeting with Zimbabwe at FNB Stadium on Thursday, Bafana Bafana embarked on a 11-hour journey before they reached Ghana on Friday night.

It has been a while since journalists had travelled with the national team for away matches.

City Press is with the team to the Cape Coast, the fishing port that is also historically known for being the strategic point of the transatlantic slave trade in the 17th century.

The South African contingent has set up camp at the Elmina Beach Resort, an establishment that is overlooking the coastline that boasts among other heritage sites, the infamous Cape Coast Castle that housed the African slaves who were later sold abroad.

Word has it that Safa had to settle for the resort after the organisation was told that the hotel it initially secured for the team was “fully booked”, but it later turned out that the Ghana national team had checked-in at the same luxury hotel!

The highlight has no doubt been AmaZulu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa’s boom blast speaker that has been belting out the amapiano beats in the team bus.

Here is the timeline of Bafana’s expedition:

FRIDAY: Bafana left their hotel in Roodepoort in the West Rand and arrive at OR Tambo International airport shortly before 9am.

At 10am the team’s chartered SAA Airbus 320-200 took to the skies for the six-hour journey and touched down at Kotoka International Airport in the Ghana capital, Accra at 2pm local time. (South Africa is two hours ahead of Ghana).

READ: Broos: It’s Ghana be tough, but we know what to do

After two hours of going through a painfully slow emigration procedure, which included rapid Covid-19 testing, the exhausted South African contingent eventually received the all-clear and started a three-hour trip by bus.

The mercury is 31 degrees Celsius, but the bus provided for the team is equipped with air-condition, at least.

Bafana finally arrived at their facility in the Cape Coast.

SATURDAY: The team was offered free time for the better part of the day until their only training session at the match venue later in the evening. The session lasted one hour - from 7pm to 8pm.

The night was almost spoiled by the injury scare to striker Evidence Makgopa who took a knock during training. The Baroka FC striker was under observation from the medical team overnight, but his status was yet to be confirmed at the time of publishing.

SUNDAY: Match day at Cape Coast Stadium, where limited fans will be allowed as per the stringent Covid-19 safety and health regulations.

READ: Tim Spirit | Bafana’s Ghana mission is as straight as a ruler

It is interesting that November 14 was also the same date Bafana last played the Black Stars at the west African country - the hosts won the Afcon qualifier 2-0, but Bafana’s three-point lead in the World Cup qualifiers has set a different scene this time around.

Mothowagae is in Ghana as a guest of Safa


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Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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