Bafana one win away from qualification

Bafana one win away from qualification
South Africa training

by Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 12, 2014. 14:42

Bafana Bafana will be eager to book their place in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations with one game to spare, by beating Sudan at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 15h00.

South Africa squandered a chance to book their place in the showpiece event last month, but will now have another bite at the cherry, knowing a win over Sudan will see them through to next year’s event and make their trip to Nigeria for the final round of 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers stress free.

Head coach Shakes Mashaba has reiterated that his side are eager on getting the job done this weekend, ahead of their trip to Uyo to take on the defending AFCON champions.

“We don’t prioritise any of the games …we take them all equally,” said Mashaba.

“It is going to be more than the three points at stake. However, I will be happy if we sum up this by beating Sudan, which will make our life easy when we go to Nigeria.”

South Africa will also be eager to honour the late Senzo Meyiwa in his hometown, three weeks after he was shot and killed in Vosloorus.

Meyiwa, who was Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain at the time of his untimely passing, helped South Africa to the brink of qualification, keeping four clean sheets in succession as South Africa registered two wins and two draws from the first four rounds of qualifiers.

It is still unclear who will fill his void between the sticks, with Brilliant Khuzwayo, Darren Keet and Siyabonga Mpontshane battling to be named in Mashaba’s starting XI for this weekend’s clash.

South Africa kept their spot top of Group A following their goalless draw against Congo last time out, while Sudan fell behind the Super Eagles following their 3-1 defeat to Nigeria after they had shocked the West Africans 1-0 a few days earlier.

Bafana have been brilliant on the road, but have yet to score on home soil, something that will serve as some encouragement for Sudan boss Mohamed Abdallah.

Mashaba will be without Sibusiso Vilakazi and May Mahlangu for this weekend’s encounter. Vilakazi withdrew from the Bafana camp having failed to recover from a toe injury, while Mahlangu failed to pitch, citing fatigue.

Vilakazi scored a brace, while Bongani Ndulula also got his name on the score sheet as South Africa beat the Falcons of Jediane 3-0 in the reverse fixture in Omdurman on September 5.

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