Bafana Bafana

Bafana ready for 'massive mission', says Ntseki

Molefi Ntseki (Gallo Images)
Molefi Ntseki (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana have completed their preparations for the crucial 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ghana.

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According to the official SAFA website, South Africa held one training session on Sunday before flying out of the country and had two more sessions at the match venue, Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana.

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki says although it is not ideal to have less than a week with the players, they have to do their best and soldier on.

"You can ask any coach of the national team they all tell you time is not on our side, but we have to do the best we can," said Ntseki.

"The aim here is to get three points and then focus on the clash against Sudan on Sunday. I am just happy all the players are here with us and were able to put in the required work to get ready for this massive mission ahead of us."

The match against the Black Stars will be the start of the road to Cameroon for the 33rd edition of AFCON.

In the previous tournament played in Egypt, South Africa started their qualifiers away to Nigeria in Uyo and came back with a convincing 2-0 victory – and they will be hoping for the same in Ghana.

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"We did well at the time, and I am almost confident the boys haven't forgotten that. I hope it works as a morale boost that anything is possible," added Ntseki.

Ntseki's charges come into the fixture against Ghana at the back of a 2-1 win over Mali in the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge played in Port Elizabeth last month.

Since readmission, Bafana have played the Black Stars on 12 occasions - 4 wins, 5 draws and 3 defeats - with the first clash dating back to November 1994.

The Bafana coach reveals that the 25-man squad in Ghana are all available for selection as the players arrived fresh and healthy.

"We want to thank the clubs and coaches for releasing the players we have in camp. The good thing about the players here is that they did not have any major injuries," Ntseki said.

"It is a tough one playing Ghana away, but I think if you look at the history of Bafana Bafana, we do very well when we play away."

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Ntseki added: "It is a tough match and we are ready for it because we believe that we have the quality to do well.

"We called up 25 players and they are ready to play whenever they are given a chance, so yes, we do have two matches, but our concentration is overcoming the first hurdle, which is Ghana.

"When we are done with Ghana we will prepare tactically and mentally for Sudan."

Along with Bafana Bafana and Ghana in Group C are Sudan and the lowly ranked Sao Tome Principe.

Two teams from the group will qualify for the tournament in Cameroon.

Thursday's Bafana Bafana and Ghana fixture starts at 21:00 (SA time).

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