Be careful what you wish for – you might just get it and it might be very unpleasant, and you’ll find you really don’t want it!
The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) draw on Wednesday was what Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba had wished for – and he got it.
Drawn against four-time winners Ghana, number one team Algeria and fast-improving Senegal – who are enjoying a new lease of life under Frenchman Alain Giresse – it has been named the “group of death” as any of the four teams can come out victorious.
“Tough but not impossible” was how former Bafana captain Steve Komphela summed it up.
Now the coach of Maritzburg United, Komphela has described the group as “a tricky one and difficult to negotiate”.
He added: “But once you get out of this group, your confidence will be high and it will be difficult to stop you.
“Our boys have shown character in the previous games, their confidence will be high and they’ll want to prove a point,” said Komphela.
He said Mashaba had added a magic touch to the team.
Under Mashaba, Bafana pulled off one of the biggest surprises during the qualifiers by finishing on top of their group without losing a game. To crown it all, they denied defending champions, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, a chance to put their title on the line.
At number 11 in Africa, Bafana are the lowest ranked in the group with the other three teams all in the top five.
Algeria and Ghana, who took part in the World Cup in Brazil earlier this year, are ranked first and fifth, respectively, while Senegal are fourth.
But Komphela believes this will count for nothing next month and he strongly believes Bafana will do the country proud. “Algeria is a more organised team and are quick in counterattacks while Senegal are known for their physicality. Ghana have good individual players and just need a coach who can make them play as a unit.
“But our players are more skilful and pacy, and we need to use this to good effect to do the job,” he said.
Afcon 2015 groupings