Bafana Bafana midfielder Teboho Mokoena says their upcoming game against Namibia is not a must-win. However, he says a positive result will be crucial if they are to increase their chances of making it out of the group stages.
South Africa are currently bottom on the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group E table after their 2-0 defeat against Mali on Tuesday night.
Penalty miss was costly for Bafana
Percy Tau’s penalty miss in the first half came back to haunt Bafana. This as Mali came back in the second half to punish Hugo Broos’ side with two goals in quick succession.
Mokwena said he will not be happy if they are to not get a result against the Peter Shalulile-led side. This ahead of their clash against the Namibians,
“It’s not really a must-win [the game against Namibia],” Mokoena told Safa media on Thursday.
“But we must get a result against Namibia. Of course, I will not be happy [if we don’t win the game] but we must not lose.”
Nothing less than a win in sight
However, midfielder partner Sphephelo Sithole had a different view altogether, stating that for Bafana to be on the safe side, they go for nothing less than a win come Sunday night.
“In this situation we find ourselves in, I think we need to win the game,” Sithole said.
“Just to be on the safe side, a win for us will be more than good enough.”
The midfield pairing of Mokwena and Sithole has proven to be one for the future, as the duo have shown glimpses of a quality midfield partnership.
Reflecting on the defeat and the match ahead against the Brave Warriors, Mokwena said they must be more clinical in front of goal.
Could have done better
“Tactically, I think we were good in the first half. We created some few chances [to score],” he added.
“But second half they [Mali] were more physical because you know physically as South Africans, we are not really strong.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow because I watched the game and I believe we could have done better.
“Going forward, we just need to be clinical [in front of goal] – we get one chance and score, that’s all we need to do.”
Gearing up for Namibia
Bafana will now gear up for an all-important match against a Namibian side that will be brimming with confidence after their historic 1-0 victory against Tunisia on Tuesday.
The two neighboring countries will cross swords at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Sunday night. Kick off time is at 10pm (SA time).