Bafana Bafana

Meyiwa to inspire Bafana

2014-11-13 09:25

Cape Town - South Africa, Cameroon and Tunisia will qualify for next year's Africa Cup of Nations - wherever it takes place - this weekend if they win their penultimate qualifying games.

Algeria and Cape Verde have already qualified for the 2015 tournament whose original hosts Morocco were stripped of the rights to stage the January 17 to February 8 finals over concerns over Ebola.

South Africa are top of Group A with eight points and are playing for the first time since the murder of their skipper Senzo Meyiwa.

If they beat Sudan on Saturday, November 15 in Durban - the hometown of the slain Orlando Pirates goalkeeper - will give them an unassailable 11 points.

"I think it's going to be very important for us to win this game because it will be a befitting send-off for the late Senzo," said coach 'Shakes' Mashaba, whose team could still earn an automatic passage to the Africa Cup should third-placed Nigeria fail to beat Congo in Pointe-Noire.

"One other thing we have been preaching is that the spirit of our late captain prevails in the team.

"Everybody has to have this mentality that we have to play to the best of our abilities like the late Senzo had been doing."

Brilliant Khuzwayo, Darren Keet and Siyabonga Mpontshane are now battling to be named in goal for the late Meyiwa.

Striker Sibusiso Vilakazi has pulled out of the squad with a toe injury, while May Mahlangu said he is too tired to play for his country and he has subsequently been banned from the national team.

Bafana Bafana beat Sudan 3-0 in Omdurman in September in the first match between the two sides.

Congo and African champions Nigeria are also locked in a tussle in the same Group A with the Super Eagles in serious danger of missing out on the 16-team tournament after they lost to Congo and Sudan.

The Eagles, who have reinstated coach Stephen Keshi and recalled Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche, lost to Congo 3-2 at home in September and now need to win on Saturday by at least two clear goals to stay in the reckoning for automatic qualification.

"It's always an honour to play for my country and I am ready to give my best," declared Uche, who scored 14 goals in La Liga last season.

"I am not under any pressure to deliver, but the team spirit is high and as a team we would together do our best to qualify our country."

Congo are second with seven points and have two match winners in Ferebory Dore, who has scored three goals in the qualifying series, and Spain-based star Thievy Bifouma, who netted a brace and provided an assist as the Red Devils stunned the star-studded Nigeria in Calabar.

Cameroon are expected to book their ticket from Group D with a win in Yaounde against second-placed DR Congo.

The four-time champions are on 10 points, four points clear of DRC who they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture three months ago.

The Ivory Coast are expected to get their campaign back on track in the same group by doing the double over Sierra Leone in Abidjan after they defeated the Leone Stars 2-1 in September.

This match will be played in Abidjan because of the severity of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

Tunisia also top Group G on 10 points and a win in Botswana on Friday will qualify them for their 17th appearance at the Nations Cup.

They dominated the game when they hosted the southern Africans in Tunis but only won 2-1.

Senegal and Egypt are neck-and-neck on seven and six points respectively and both teams clash in Cairo on Saturday after the Teranga Lions won 2-0 in Dakar.

With Cape Verde already qualified from Group G, the battle for the second ticket is between 2012 champions Zambia and Mozambique, who are both on five points.

They played out a goalless draw when they first clashed in Ndola and on Saturday the Chipolopolo are away in Maputo in a winner-takes-all encounter.

It is a tight race to the finish in Group C with leaders Gabon just a point ahead of Burkina Faso, and both teams will be on the road to Angola and Lesotho respectively this weekend.

Group E is also too close to call as Ghana on top on eight points face a tricky trip to third-placed Uganda, who have four points.

Togo are second with six points and welcome bottom team Guinea, who have so far recorded four points, also on Saturday.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  senzo meyiwa  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.