Cape Town - South Africa will look for their first win of Group M in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they face Mauritania at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott.
Bafana Bafana opened their campaign with a disappointing goalless draw at home to Gambia on June 13, with Shakes Mashaba’s charges unable to find a way past the Scorpions’ resilient defence.
With a home and away double-header against group heavyweights Cameroon looming large for March next year, this clash against ‘Les Mourabitones’ - who lost 1-0 to Cameroon in their Group M opener - has been identified as a must-win clash for Bafana.
“About Mauritania, we’ve done our homework. We’ve searched, but what we found is their previous records of how they played,” said coach Mashaba in reference to their knowledge of their hosts.
“What has made us aware that [Mauritania] are not a team to take lightly is the result they came with from Cameroon. They went there and lost, but if you go far back you’ll find that there are games which they lost 7-0 and 3-0.
“But we don’t want to take that into our minds because it’s sort of going to make us complacent. We know they are not a very easy side to play, so we’ve got to take them and give them the respect they deserve.”
South Africa has been boosted by the news that Thulani Serero has been declared fit and will travel with the team when they depart for Nouakchott on Thursday.
However, the status of Kaizer Chiefs defender Tsepo Masilela remains unclear.
This will be the first ever meeting between the teams in an official senior international. Senegalese referee Daouda Gueye will take charge of the match at the Olympic Stadium.
The other Group M match this weekend sees leaders Cameroon travel to Bakau to take on Gambia.
Bafana take on Mauritania on Saturday, September 5 at 20:00.