Bafana Bafana

Pitso fears Freetown fiasco

2010-09-28 10:53
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Pitso Mosimane admits his charges are in for a jolt when they touch down in Sierra Leone next week for a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

South Africa are in control of Group G following one round thanks to the 2-0 win over Niger in their opener while Egypt and the Leone Stars played to a draw in their fixture.

Nonetheless, Sierra Leone is an intimidating country to visit and, on their last trip to Freetown in 2008, Joel Santana's Bafana Bafana were beaten by one goal to nil.

Back then Mosimane was Bafana's assistant coach so he knows what to expect.

"The people there are hospitable, but the same cannot be said about the conditions there," he told Sunday World.

The man known as 'Jingles' explained that the trip to the venue, the National Stadium, poses a number of logistical challenges.

"It takes almost a day and half to reach our destination," he said.

"This includes an eight-hour flight and 30 minutes of travelling in the boat ferrying passengers across the river to the venue where the game will be played.

"We've heard disturbing stories about travelling in the boat in the past, which I wouldn't like to disclose.

"Travelling at night would be tantamount to suicide.

"We are working on possibly getting a special boat," he added.

The likes of Itumeleng Khune, Tsepo Masilela, Aaron Mokoena, Bongani Khumalo, Steven Pienaar, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Macbeth Sibaya, Teko Modise and Surprise Moriri all featured in the defeat two years ago and this experience should boost Bafana's chances of pulling off a positive result.

Mosimane will do his best to motivate those who have not made the trip before and says the hostile environment will not be used as a scapegoat should the 2010 World Cup hosts fail to live up to expectations.

"I will psyche the players, especially those who have never been to that part of the world," Mosimane said.

"We don't want the conditions in the country to come as a surprise to the guys and no excuses should be made after the game." 

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