Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana's victory over the Central African Republic (CAR) on Saturday was an early and a perfect birthday present for midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane who turned 31 on Sunday.
Bafana Bafana beat CAR 3-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Saturday with Letsholonyane playing a pivotal role in the crushing victory.
"It was a great game for us, three great goals and three valuable points, but personally it was an early present for me far away from home," said Letsholonyane.
"It was not an easy game and, above all, we did not prepare the way we wanted to. However, it did not affect us much because we knew what to expect."
The dreadlocked midfielder said CAR had tried to put South Africa under pressure early by playing in their half. Getting the first goal had been crucial in settling their nerves.
Their mission, however, had not yet been accomplished as they still had to face Group A log leaders Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, on Sunday.
"We have to beat Ethiopia - there are no two ways about it. I had a feeling that they were going to win in Botswana because they are a stronger side, but then that is good because it means we have to do the business ourselves and not depend on the next team to help us qualify," he said.
"This one is going to be more difficult because it is an away game and, with all their supporters behind them, it is going to be one hell of a game."
Letsholonyane had made 40 appearances for Bafana Bafana since his debut in September 2008 in an international friendly match against Malawi in Germiston. Sapa