Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba admits there is a long way to go in their quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Bafana advanced to the group stages in qualifications after their 4-1 aggregate win over Angola on Tuesday and Mashaba explained that Bafana will need to consistently be at their best if they are to be one of the five teams to qualify for the tournament.
"I would like to applaud my players for sticking to the game plan which saw us proceed to round three," Mashaba said in a statement.
"The more you play, the more you get familiar with the system.
"But let us not deceive ourselves, even though we don't know who will be in our group, it is going to be a tough journey to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
"We have to be at our best to get through the group stages, irrespective of who we meet.
"I would really love to see myself qualifying this team for this tournament. I am well aware it is not going to be easy, but this is a good start."
South Africa's next assignment will be against Cameroon in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in March next year.