Bafana Bafana

Do-or-die clash for Bafana

2013-06-10 11:25
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo)
Johannesburg - South Africa’s 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup qualifying campaign will hinge on the result of their next match, a crunch clash against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday, 16 June 2013.

Kick-off is at 16:00.
Bafana Bafana recorded their most impressive result in the tenure of coach Gordon Igesund this past weekend, defeating Central Africa Republic 3-0 in neutral Cameroon to move to eight points on the standings after four matches. Goals from Bernard Parker, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Katlego Mashego took the team to an emphatic victory.
However, Group A leaders Ethiopia defeated Botswana 2-1 away from home on the same day to move to 10 points and within a victory of progressing into the next phase of qualifying. If the ‘Walia Antelopes’ defeat Bafana Bafana, then they will mathematically guarantee themselves top spot and eliminate Igesund’s team from the running for Brazil 2014.
A draw would be a favourable result for Ethiopia as well, meaning Bafana head into this match needing to claim all three points if they are to put their qualifying hopes within their own control.
The teams have met just once previously: a 1-1 draw at the start of the Group A matches in Rustenburg last year, with Saladin Said and Katlego Mphela scoring for the ‘Antelopes’ and Bafana respectively.
Coach Igesund was pleased with his team’s efforts in Cameroon against CAR, and believes they can carry that momentum into this weekend’s match.
“I am proud of the players because between our match with Lesotho last weekend, we had only one training session due to some setbacks we do not want talk about again. Winning 3-0 away from home shows some character. I am happy with the score line, though we dropped a bit in the second half. We can build the momentum from this result going to Ethiopia,” said the four-time PSL winning manager.
Captain Itumeleng Khune was also delighted with the “team effort” of Bafana, but acknowledges that beating Ethiopia in their own back yard will not be an easy task.
For now, we need to enjoy the victory but must quickly remember that we still have a mountain to climb in Addis Ababa. Both teams have won their matches and they will go into this clash high in spirits. But I am positive we can complete this mission,” said Khune.


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