Cape Town - Bafana Bafana arrived in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan on Tuesday evening on their way to Burkina Faso in buoyant mood with coach Shakes Mashaba saying it was a blessing in disguise that they were beginning the FIFA 2018 World Cup campaign away from home.
Since taking over the national team, Mashaba has enjoyed unparalleled success away from home and expects history to repeat itself in this campaign.
"We began the Equatorial Guinea 2015 qualifiers away from home against Sudan and from that moment onwards there was no looking back. I expect the boys to be fired up for the Burkina Faso game on Saturday and set the tone for the remainder of the campaign," said a relaxed Mashaba on the SAFA website.
Unlike the Africa Cup of Nations campaign for 2017 in which Bafana Bafana drew against Gambia, Cameroon and Mauritania at home, Mashaba said the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup campaign was a different ball game altogether.
"We have learnt our lessons and although this will be a tough match because Burkina Faso are a tough nut to crack at home, I believe we have done our homework and we should compete."
The Bafana Bafana versus Burkina Faso game takes place at the Municipal Stadium in Ouagadougou on Saturday evening and kicks off at 20h00 SA time.
Bafana Bafana left South Africa on Tuesday afternoon via Accra, Ghana with an overnight stop in Abidjan. The team will arrive in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso on Wednesday afternoon, 5 October 2016.
"I could not have asked for a better organised and balanced team. We have assembled a good squad with good spirit and a group of players who know what it means to don the Bafana Bafana jersey," added Mashaba.
After the match against Burkina Faso, Bafana Bafana will fly straight to OR Tambo Airport where they will connect to Durban for a friendly match against Ghana scheduled for Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday, 11 October.
That match kicks off at 20:00.