News24

'Bafana can't let it slip now'

2011-06-01 21:24

Johannesburg - Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala returns this weekend to Cairo where he made his debut for the national team five years ago.

Back then Bafana Bafana defeated the hosts 2-1 in a friendly international match in preparation for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. He came on as a substitute in the 61st minute, replacing Lebohang Mokoena.

This time the Bafana Bafana vice captain will be in the starting eleven when South Africa tackle the Pharaohs in a crucial 2012 AFCON qualifier at the Cairo Military Academy Stadium on Sunday.

He missed Bafana Bafana's last match against Tanzania and ironically, the last match he played for the national team was the 1-0 victory over Egypt in the first leg in March this year.

"It's good to be back in the team once again, there is always the pride of playing for your country. This match means a lot to me as I will be returning to the place where I made my debut," said Tshabalala.

"Back then I was a youngster and I have grown in confidence and experience, and I am a lot wiser now. Even though I have travelled a lot with the national team, this will still be a different experience for me," he said.

The left-footed player brings a wealth of experience in the squad and shares the spot as the most-capped player with Steven Pienaar on 58 caps.

Tshabalala has scored seven goals for Bafana Bafana and will be hoping that they continue from where they left off the last time against the North Africans.

"We can't emphasise this enough, victory is vital for us to stay top of the group. A draw will still suffice but three points will be great. We have done very well up to this point and we can't let it slip now. It would be great to help my team-mates get another victory over Egypt. But I know it will be a tough day at the office for us, and our approach should be business-like because they are fighting for their lives in the qualifiers so nothing will come easy for us," added the man known as Shabba.

While Tshabalala has played in Egypt, his team-mate Davide Somma will be on his first trip to Cairo. The striker is overjoyed at the prospect of taking on the Pharaohs in their backyard.

"I haven't been to Egypt, but I saw their team when they were here and they looked good. I think we did well to beat them at Ellis Park and I don't see any reason why we can't do the same there. In the past we have had difficulties against them, but the coach has conditioned us well. I also love the spirit in the camp which is teeming with talented players," said Somma.

The national team is in Johannesburg and will train at the Rand Stadium on Thursday before departing for Cairo in the evening.

SAPA

Comments
  • NEVERAGAIN - 2011-06-01 23:40

    Good-luck to our guys Bafana x 2 make us proud....

  • NEVERAGAIN - 2011-06-01 23:49

    Please correct the score for the 23 April 2011 : Home Team Result Away Team 14 May Tanzania 0 - 1 South Africa 23 Apr South Africa 0 - 1 Egypt 20 Apr Lesotho 1 - 2 South Africa

      Nthlarhi - 2011-06-02 07:58

      When did Bafana play Lesotho? Don't copy whatever you see on Supersport interactive news as being correct. The Under 20's played Lesotho and not the senior team.

  • NEVERAGAIN - 2011-06-01 23:51

    PLEASE CORRECT THE RESULTS >>> Home Team Result Away Team 14 May Tanzania 0 - 1 South Africa 23 Apr South Africa 0 - 1 Egypt 20 Apr Lesotho 1 - 2 South Africa

      Butters - 2011-06-02 08:07

      Bafana bafana beat Egypt 1-0 at Ellispark. PLease correct your results

      Nthlarhi - 2011-06-02 08:17

      These results you posted are for the Under 20s. Somehow Supersport tv chose to put them under the Bafana results on their interactive channel. Bafana have not played Lesotho or lost to Egypt.

  • manuel28 - 2011-06-02 06:12

    bafana beat egypt 1 - 0

  • Enoch - 2011-06-02 06:31

    Make us proud guys, and to the coach please start with speedy players upfront, because even if we don't want to defend they pushed us hard here they will push us even harder there, so the likes of Parker, Shabba, Gautrain and Mpela can really help when we break. I know we can do it, go Bafana!

  • Enoch - 2011-06-02 06:42

    Make us proud guys, and to the coach please start with speedy players upfront, because even if we don't want to defend they pushed us hard here they will push us even harder there, so the likes of Parker, Shabba, Gautrain and Mpela can really help when we break. I know we can do it, go Bafana!

  • mileslogan - 2011-06-02 07:44

    All the best to our boys!!

  • Annoy - 2011-06-02 07:51

    AH BE CAREFUL GUYS - EGYPT ARE NO PUSH OVERS

      Nthlarhi - 2011-06-02 08:00

      I totally agree with you but i'm glad everyone is aware of that so they should be not complacent. A draw can prove to be a good result as it will eliminate Egypt.

  • Leviathan - 2011-06-02 10:10

    hopefully u guys win. giv egypt the boot so that they dont qualify for AFCON, will that even sweeter. Egypt only want to play during cup of nations, and not in WC.

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