Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana's 1-1 draw against Zambia on Wednesday in a practice training match will have been a confidence booster to most national team greenhorns and they will go into their practice match against Ghana on Sunday with their tails high.
Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane had to rely on inexperienced players after most of his regular players were pulled out of the squad.
The squad has now played two draws within five days, starting with the goalless draw against Equatorial Guinea last Friday. But it was against a strong Africa Cup of Nations-bound Zambia side that the South Africans showed their mettle.
"Zambia had a full team, all their regulars were there, while South Africa had a very inexperienced group who gave everything. Even though I was on the bench (due to a knee injury) I saw that the team played with a lot of heart, passion and determination - it was a very good performance. The longer we stay together the better we will become, so it's only a matter of time before we gel," said midfielder Granwald Scott.
Second-half substitute Lehlohonolo Majoro was equally impressed with the performance of his teammates.
"You could see the guys were willing to play, and were full of confidence especially in the second half. This can only show that there is a lot of talent in South Africa. We have new faces in the team, and they gave their all because they wanted to win - it was a good competitive match and the kind of performance many did not expect from the new players. This is our second draw this year, and even though we would love to win we are making a lot of improvement. The results will come," said Majoro.
Bafana will now take on Ghana in another training-practice match on Sunday. The match is scheduled for the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng near Rustenburg. Only 20 000 tickets have been issued for this match and they are available free of charge.
"Ghana is one of the strongest teams on the continent, and playing them will demand a lot from the players but judging by our preparations we are confident we will do well. The Zambia match is in the past and every game is different, we know the Ghanaian players so we know what to expect but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. They are a good team, but we will do our best," said Majoro.
"We are a bunch of young players given an opportunity to represent our country, we know them but they don't know us so they have to be worried about us. We don't need special preparations, we must just continue with the work we started when camp started. Playing for the national team is already motivation in itself, and we will give our all again against Ghana like we did against Zambia," added Scott.
Scott returned to training on Thursday afternoon after sitting out Tuesday's session due to a knee injury.
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane missed training on Thursday after being stretchered off against Zambia in the second half. He was captain of the side on the day. Letsholonyane will undergo an MRI scan on Friday to determine the extent of the injury and whether he will be available for the clash against Ghana.