Pienaar closer to full fitness

2011-07-21 07:40

Johannesburg - Steven Pienaar is hopeful he will be fit to play in the Vodacom Challenge final after missing the first two games of the competition.

The Tottenham midfielder admits he was eager to play against Orlando Pirates on Tuesday night - the club he has supported since childhood.

However, he was sidelined due to a knee injury which hasn't fully healed yet.

"I have been struggling a bit with a knee injury, I wanted to play against Orlando Pirates in Nelspruit on Tuesday night but the doctors advised me to take it easy," Pienaar told The Sowetan.

"I grew up in Westbury where the majority of people support Pirates, I also supported them from childhood. I was a bit disappointed not to play against them.

"I'm hoping to be okay so that I can play in the final."

Commenting on the national team, Pienaar stated he has no doubts Bafana Bafana will qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be hosted in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

"We are on the verge of qualifying, the most important thing is to win the next game against Niger away in September," said Pienaar.

"It will be a tough one but we will do our best to make the country proud this time round.

"There is no way Bafana Bafana won't be in the finals."