Ntseki not afraid of Black Stars

World Cup draw tough for Bafana
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is not perturbed by the fact that the national team will face Ghana three times as South Africa concoct to qualify for both the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Camerooon next year and the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
It was specifically the World Cup quali­ers that Ntseki was preoccupied with after attending the draw for the ­rst World Cup to be held in the Middle East.
The drawing of lots was held in Cairo, Egypt, earlier this week.
Bafana were drawn in Group G alongside Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Ghana, as the top 40 African nations were placed into 10 groups of four teams.
The second round of quali­fication will end with 30 teams dropping out of the competition before the top teams from each group play the ­final qualifiers to determine the ­five CAF
Ntseki is under no illusion about the toughness of the task.
“We are fully aware of Ghana and their qualities. Sour­ce to say every draw is a tough draw be cause the expectation is that all these top 40 teams play to qualify for the World Cup,” he reflected.
“We are fully aware of Zimbabwe, our neighbours, and Ethiopia. All the teams that are in our group will get the same respect because they deserve to be in the
qualifiers. It will be a tough one but we are hopeful and looking forward to a good start on the road to the World Cup.”
The opening round of ­fixtures is set to take place in October, ending in October 2021.
Bafana have an inkling of what to expect from Ghana after competing against the Black Stars in the 2021 Afcon quali­fers where South Africa lost 2-0 away in the Cape Coast of Ghana
in the ­first leg last year.
“We know what to expect from Ghana and they know what to expect from us.
“I don’t think it is a bad thing [to be in the same group as Ghana]. They’ve just appointed a new coach… so I think the players will be looking to impress.”
Regarding their other opponents, Ntseki said: “Most of the players from Zimbabwe are playing in South Africa, so we are fully aware of what they are capable of.”
SA have played Ethiopia in World Cup qualifiers under the guidance of coach Gordon Igesund between 2012 and 2014.
They beat SA in the away leg and dashed Mzansi’s hopes of taking part in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Yet Ntseki is confident Bafana can pull off victories at home and away.
By Xolile Mtshazo


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