Thulani Hlatshwayo of South Africa
Saturday Apr 20, 2019. 13:00
South Africa captain Thulani Hlatswayo says he is happy with the draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, and he finds it very interesting.
Bafana Bafana are in Group D alongside former winners Ivory Coast and Morocco, as well as neighbours Namibia.
“This is a very interesting draw, and I am very happy with it. I am glad we did not get so-called small nations because we seem to be at our best when we face big name countries, so I am confident we will do well," Haltshwayo said.
"Mind you, we started the qualifications with a win (vs Nigeria) and ended with another fine win (vs Libya) and both matches were away – not only that, we also qualified without losing a game, and that means we are doing something right. So we have to continue where we left off and I believe with the nation behind us we will get it right.
“What makes this more exciting personally is that I have never played against Ivory Coast and Morocco at senior level, but I am very aware of what they are all about. They are physical but that is not an issue for us as we have faced similar opposition before," the Bidvest Wits defender added.
"So I am really looking forward to these matches. I believe we are more experienced now, and we are not intimated by anybody anymore – but we worked hard to get here, and that’s what gives me confidence ahead of the tournament.”
The tournament will be hosted by Egypt between 21 June and 19 July 2019.