Mbalula backing Bafana
Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged Bafana Bafana to do the country proud when they take on the Central African Republic (CAR) in their crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifier on Saturday.
Mbalula paid Bafana a visit at their Cape Town hotel on Thursday to wish them well.
"We have to win this match because it is imperative for us as South Africa to go to Brazil," Mbalula said.
"You have a chance to engrave your names in the history books by helping this country qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, so you have to give your best."
Meanwhile, Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund stressed the importance of the clash and said it was a must-win for them.
"A draw will not help us, it is not an option, it will only make things more difficult for us because Ethiopia and CAR still have to play at home, so it is important to get a win," Igesund said.
"We just have to apply ourselves on Saturday and leave nothing to chance.
"Going away will be very challenging but my boys have shown character that they will be able to fight all the way." After initial worries that the pitch might not be in perfect playing condition at the Cape Town Stadium, the Bafana mentor is happy that it has improved significantly.
"Before we committed this match to Cape Town, we spoke to the stadium management about the pitch and they assured us that it will be ready," Igesund said.
"Two days ago I went to inspect it with my technical team and I saw a beautiful pitch, so I am very happy."
Bafana will have their last training session on Friday morning at the Athlone Stadium.