Wounded Bafana gun for Sudan

Ntseki receives a baptism of fire after a 2-0 defeat

Going into their second 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against another West African side Sudan at the back of a 2-0 defeat by Ghana on Thursday night, Bafana Bafana have every reason to look like a wounded lion ready for revenge against Sudan today.

Coach Molefi Ntseki received a baptism of fire in his first official match when Bafana suffered a slight setback, as they were looking to start
their Afcon campaign on a high by getting three away points from Ghana’s Black Stars and round up the back-to-back qualifying round with the second set of full points against the Falcons of  Jediane a Orlando Stadium, at 3pm Sunday afternoon, but it was not to be.

On Saturday in Joburg, Ntseki spoke about how they would be approaching the game against Sudan after the disappointing loss. He said Safa had sent an analyst to watch as the Sudanese came out on top with a 4-0 hammering of Sao Tome and Principe on Thursday. “We’ll have a video session after lunch today [Saturday] and see how we tackle Sudan.

They are coming from a 4-0 victory. We need to dig deeper to get a win. We’re left with only one form of a result – a win. There’s no doubt that we’ll have to take the game to Sudan,” Ntseki said.

Bafana would be well-advised not to let the Sudanese come at them and Ntseki agreed that with the experience they have of playing West African sides while he was assistant to Englishman Stuart Baxter, Bafana would have to fight for an early goal.

“We’ll have to start on the front foot, we need that confidence, get an early goal and deny them possession. Playing at home we’ll have to take the game to them. We need the result.

“Sudan are mobile. We have nine players who played at Afcon when we beat Egypt, so we need that aggressive approach we showed against the Egyptians.”

Bafana’s at tacking midfielder Lebo Mothiba said they will have to keep the momentum going by staying focused.

Mothiba, who plays for Strasbourg in France’s Ligue 1, netted two important goals for his 15th placed team before joining the Bafana camp.

He said because Ntseki worked with Baxter, there was tactical and technical continuity in how things are done and also spoke about
why he did not play against Ghana.

“There’s continuity, we are doing almost the same things, there are no huge changes. As a striker, it’s always nice to score goals. I don’t expect to play in every match. Actually, there’re a lot of good strikers in South Africa,” Mothiba said.

“I’ll keep working hard, the coach knows what he is doing, I’ll grab the opportunity when my time comes.”

Bafana midfielder Dean Furman was more than optimistic South Africa would come out of today’s clash with a win.

“It’s one we’ll have to win. We have to start scoring goals. I’m looking forward to a better performance to the one against Ghana, who have three points with Sudan also having maximum points.

“We’re now playing catchup. If we don’t win it, we must at least get a point at home,” Furman said.

By Xolile Mtshazo

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