Port Elizabeth - Siphiwe Tshabalala is confident Bafana Bafana can maintain their
unbeaten record against Africa's number one ranked team Ivory Coast on
Pitso Mosimane's men will battle the Elephants on home turf at
the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the 17th edition of the match that
honours the former South African president this weekend.
And while the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder says he and his
international team-mates are determined to go all-out against the
Ivorians, Tshabalala insists he is not expecting a walk in the park.
"It will be a tough match because we will be playing Africa's
number one team with a lot of experienced players in their team, but it
is exactly what we need at this stage," he told Football365.co.za.
"As much as we are rebuilding after failing to qualify for the
AFCON, it is still very important for us that we play against the tough
countries in order to improve."
The 27-year-old also said that despite this being a stern test of
Bafana's mettle, he believes the team are more than capable of beating
the star-studded Cote d'Ivoire side.
"It is going to be a good test for us and also, it is good for us
to prove ourselves against a high-ranked side that can give us a good
test. We are well aware that the expectations are high, but we will be
ready. We will be ready to win the match," Tshabalala added.
South Africa have not lost to the West Africans in four previous
meetings, but the Ivorians are currently ranked 19th in FIFA's world
rankings, compared to Bafana's 49th placing.