Bafana Bafana

Coach Ntseki ready for Namibia test in Bafana Bafana's first match in nearly a year

Molefi Ntseki (Gallo Images)
Molefi Ntseki (Gallo Images)
  • Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki says the match against Namibia on Thursday will not be an easy 90 minutes.
  • South Africa will then take on 2012 AFCON champions Zambia on Sunday.
  • Despite the friendly matches, Ntseki is focusing on Bafana Bafana's back-to-back AFCON qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe next month.

Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki believes matches against Namibia and Zambia will prepare the national side for next month's back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against the relatively unknown African island nation Sao Tome and Principe.

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South Africa take on neighbours Namibia on Thursday (kick-off is at 18:00) at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in their first match since November 2019 when Bafana Bafana overcame Sudan 1-0 in an AFCON qualifying clash.

Bafana Bafana will then shift their focus to African football powerhouse and 2012 AFCON champions Zambia at the same venue on Sunday, 11 October. 

This is the first FIFA international break since March following the Covid-19 outbreak as the world was brought to an untimely stop to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

And now, as all sporting codes around the globe are up and running again, Bafana mentor Ntseki is seeking to fine tune his charges for next month's must win matches against Sao Tome.

South Africa last played Namibia in the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt under then-coach Stuart Baxter and came out 1-0 victors at the end of the encounter.

"Namibia are a very tough team physically. They play with a lot of enthusiasm and motivation. We are expecting a very tough match," Ntseki told the media.

"For the past weeks you have seen Namibian players making big moves. We’ve seen Peter Shalulile moving from Highlands Park to Sundowns, we’ve seen Deon Hotto accompanying his captain from Bidvest Wits to Orlando Pirates.

"So, you can tell the players are really doing well. They are a hard-running team that is why we felt they would give us what we are really looking for when we talk of tactical elements of the game. You need to have strong opponents.

"They did well against us in Egypt with a margin of one goal. It will be a very tough and interesting match and it will really help us prepare for Sao Tome." 

Former Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic is now the mentor of Zambia and Ntseki says that Bafana Bafana have a plan in place when the two sides meet on Sunday.

"With Zambia they have been in camp for two weeks. The coach assembled 40 players for the friendlies this coming week," Ntseki continued.

"He knows South Africa; he knows the players in this country coach Micho. We have a plan in terms of how we want to prepare our team. Yes, we have to play well in the two matches but we're actually looking beyond the two matches. As much as the friendlies are important our focus is on Sao Tome."

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