Polokwane - Bafana Bafana playmaker Thulani Serero expects a far tougher test against Congo-Brazzaville second time round and believes South Africa will have to be on their toes on Wednesday.
Serero was part of South Africa’s stunning 2-0 defeat over the Red Devils over the weekend, in the first of back-to-back 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“We’ve played the first game, they know how we play. They’ll also want to prepare for the second game,” Serero said in Polokwane on Monday.
“It’s going to be more difficult to play the second game because they already know us.”
Saturday’s victory over Congo rocketed South Africa to the top of group A, leapfrogging the west African nation in the process.
A win on Wednesday evening at Peter Mokaba would all but guarantee qualification for the continental showpiece in Morocco next year January.
Serero said the national team were not thinking about the tournament just yet and still had a job to do in qualifying.
“The coach made it clear that nothing is finished yet. We’re taking it one game at a time and the group is only finished once we’ve played the last group game.
“We’re not thinking about Morocco.”
Serero, who plays for Dutch outfit Ajax Amsterdam, had been in superb for and was justifiably recalled to the national team having missed out on Shakes Mashaba’s squad for the first two qualifiers in September.
Although not at his penetrative best on Saturday, Serero was a star in tracking back in defence to help the rest of the team -- a characteristic not often associated with an attack-minded midfielder.
But Serero agreed that time spent with Ajax had taught him the importance of helping in both attack and defence.
“I’m a team player. I try to play according to the team and what the coach wants,” he said.
“Everything I do, I do to the best of my ability and for the team. I always enjoy playing football.
“That (defence) was a problem before when I went there (to Ajax) and I’ve worked on it. Now I do both, I can attack and defend.”
South Africa were due to face Premier Soccer League outfit Polokwane City in a warm-up match, at Peter Mokaba Stadium, on Monday evening.
Players who did not take part against Congo on Saturday were expected to make up the bulk of the team.