Bafana Bafana

Bafana plot Egypt's downfall

2011-03-22 15:50
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana are gearing up for their biggest test since the Soccer World Cup as the clash with Egypt edges closer.

South Africa tackle the Pharaohs in an African Nations Cup qualifier on March 26 at Ellis Park with Pitso Mosimane's men sitting at the summit of Group G and the continental giants languishing at the bottom of the standings.

Mosimane has been impressed by what he has seen of the eight players called up for observation, with Eric Mathoho, Siyanda Xulu and George Maluleka already being selected for Under-23 duty against Libya in an Olympic Games qualifier.

"We are happy with what we saw the past week working with the additional players, it was a good exercise which showed how much talent we have in this country," said Mosimane.

"This indicates that there is a potential of resources of players to help us through the hectic program of qualifying for the AFCON tournaments of 2012/13/15 and 17 as well as the World Cup of 2014."

Most of Bafana's international-based players have joined the camp. Anele Ngcongca, Daylon Claasen and Siboniso Gaxa touched down on Monday night, with only Bernard Parker yet to arrive.

"The arrival of the overseas-based players means the focus is now fully on Egypt," said Mosimane.

"They named their squad on Saturday night and we saw they are bringing a very strong team, which shows how much they want to win this match.

"We cannot afford to relax, this is going to be a difficult game which will be tactically exhausting and emotionally challenging, but we believe we have the opportunity to give South Africa hope and confidence as we edge closer to qualification for AFCON 2012."

Skipper Steven Pienaar, who is struggling with a groin strain, stressed the importance of downing Africa's giants on Saturday.

"It's good to be back, and this time as captain in a qualifier and not a friendly match," said the Tottenham midfielder.

"We are all aware it is not going to be easy and this is one match we cannot afford to lose, as we want to keep our aspirations of qualifying alive.

"This is perhaps the biggest game for us since the 2010 FIFA World Cup and we have to ensure we retain all three points in South Africa," he concluded. 

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