South Africa, Senegal set for Polokwane re-match

South Africa, Senegal set for Polokwane re-match
Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 14:00

South Africa and Senegal will lock horns in a crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The match is a reply of the fixture played 12 months ago, with the 2-1 win for South Africa wiped from the record books following damning match manipulation evidence against Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey.

FIFA duly ordered for the game to replayed, with the rescheduled match to take place this weekend before the reverse fixture in Dakar next Tuesday.

Senegal currently top Group D with eight points from four matches and will book their place at a world showpiece for only the second time with victory on South African soil.

As for their hosts, Bafana Bafana need to win home and away if they are to seal a spot at a World Cup for a fourth time. Heading into their penultimate fixture, South Africa currently occupy bottom spot in Group D despite a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso last time out.

Senegal moved into pole position with victory away to Cape Verde last month. The Island nation had beaten South Africa home and away, and like the Stallions they too still have a chance of reaching Russia.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is set to be fit for this weekend's clash, but despite the obvious threat posed by the West African's, Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter is confident his troops can do the required job.

"We will plan our game regardless of who is in the opposition team; we will make them uncomfortable on the day and play to win,” Baxter said.

“We need to find the right balance to unsettle Senegal and the issue of Mane doesn’t bother me a bit.

“We need to give Senegal the respect they deserve but that should be enough; we need to go for them big time,” he concluded.

South Africa are sweating on the fitness of both Itumeleng Khune and Andile Jali for the clash, while both Thulani Serero and Hlompho Kekana are set to miss the encounter.

The reverse fixture at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor is set to take place on Tuesday 14 November.

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