Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane believes the team's road to
salvation "starts now" as they prepare to take on the Ivory Coast in
Saturday's Nelson Mandela Challenge.
The South African national team recently suffered the heartache
of failing to qualify for next year's Africa Cup of Nations, leaving the
players and the country mourning another missed tournament.
However, Mosimane believes the team need to keep moving forward,
and that a match-up against Africa's highest ranked team can help revive
the dwindling belief.
"It is a long road ahead, but we will rise again and make the
nation proud. I am committed to making sure this happens and it starts
now," he told the PSL's official website.
However, the coach is not getting too ahead of himself, and
admits they face a stern test against the Elephants, who cruised into
the 2012 AFCON finals after finishing the group stages with a 100%
"We respect Ivory Coast. They are the number one team in Africa and 19th in the world. We know what to expect," he added.
"But it is important not to over-respect them. When we play a
team of this profile it is very difficult to win, but possible. We
believe we can win."
It is no secret that Bafana's weakness lies in their inability to
find the back of the net, but Mosimane is hoping the return of some
high profile players, as well a few wildcards, could spur the team on to
"The good news is that we are welcoming back some players from
injury and we have four new players uncapped in the squad. We know we
need to score more goals and that is where we will focus our attentions
because it is in the striking department in our country where we are
"Therefore, I will change my strategy because we cannot win if we do not score," confirmed Mosimane.
"Our defence has always looked solid and I expect the same."