SA look for important ‘away’ win

SA look for important ‘away’ win
Percy Tau of South Africa during the Afcon qualifier between South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 15, 2020. 11:00

South Africa will chase an important ‘away’ win in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations when they face Sao Tome and Principe at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on the afternoon of Monday 16 November 2020.

SA secured an unconvincing 2-0 home victory over the minnows at Moses Mabhida Stadium this past Friday evening, with a Percy Tau penalty and late goal from Bongani Zungu securing all three points.

The result saw Bafana Bafana move to six points, three adrift of log leaders Ghana. Sudan are third on three points, while the Falcons and True Parrots Team sit at the bottom of the standings with zero points thus far.

Sao Tome have ceded their home venue for this match in the interest of limiting travel in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which gives South Africa the advantage of playing four straight qualifiers in their own country (including the 1-0 win over Sudan a year ago and the return game against Ghana scheduled for March 2021).

With the top two teams qualifying for AFCON finals, a win over Sao Tome would put Bafana Bafana within touching distance of a ticket to Cameroon, but coach Molefi Ntseki has warned his team that they must be more assertive in Monday’s match.

“Giving respect to Sao Tome they have got nothing to lose – we have got everything to lose if we don’t get a positive result‚” Ntseki said after the win in Durban.

“So it means it will be for us to take the game to them like we did [in the second half]. So it’s not like maybe we are going to take the foot off the pedal and say‚ ‘It is their game’.

“It is our game‚ being in South Africa. Even if we were to play in Sao Tome it would be the same.

“Because in every game we are fully aware that we cannot just allow Ghana to run away with the group. We are also a force to be reckoned with.

“And we can only ever get respect if we do well against teams like Ghana‚ who are No.6 in Africa‚ and we are No.13. We want to be in the top 10‚ and to do that we have to play well and win games.”

The other Group C match early in the week sees Ghana play away to Sudan on Tuesday, where a win for the Black Stars would secure qualification.

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