Coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba insists the return leg between Bafana Bafana and Mauritius scheduled for Anjalay Stadium (Kick-off 15h00 -13h00 SA time) is far from over.
Coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba insists the return leg between Bafana Bafana and Mauritius scheduled for Anjalay Stadium (Kick-off 15h00 -13h00 SA time) is far from over despite the visitors carrying a healthy 3-0 lead from the first leg.
The match will be played on Sunday afternoon and with the blistering coastal heat picking up late in the afternoon, tropical weather conditions might be Bafana Bafana’s biggest enemy.
The South Africans arrived at Sir Seewoosagar Ramgoolam International Airport, in Mauritius on Friday evening and coming from the chilly Johannesburg weather, it was relief for the travelling party who were greeted by some humid Indian Ocean conditions.
Coach Mashaba said despite a sharp contrast in weather conditions, the boys would not be affected by the situation.
“We recently played in Durban and moved to Cape Town which have almost the same conditions as here. Yes, it is by far warmer here than both Durban and Cape Town but that does not give Mauritius an advantage,” he said.
The Senior National Men team’s coach however, insisted that the encounter was far from being decided despite having a healthy first leg lead.
“We will have to grind a result. The Mauritians will try to take the game to us but that might also work in to our advantage as they might leave gaps at the back. In the first encounter at Dobsonville Stadium, they had too many numbers at the back and seemed not too worried with the 3-0 defeat. That tells you something; they hope to spring a surprise but we have done our homework,” he added.
The islanders who fired their French coach Didier Six suffered heavy defeats to Ghana’s Black Stars (7-1 in the African Cup of Nations qualifier) and the 3-0 to South Africa the following week.
“We are not taking anything for granted. We want to finish the return leg match with a flourish and I am happy with our training and physical shape so far. The boys are raring to go and the spirit in the camp is sky high as you can see,” added Mashaba.
The Bafana Bafana coach said it would be a sweet win if they could shut down the islanders and come up with a good win.
“We have not paid any attention to their problems like having a new coach or other matters. We are concentrating only on our game and I am quite happy with the prevailing morale in the camp.”
Captain Itumeleng Khune also appeared and sounded very confident going into Sunday’s clash mobilising his troops throughout the journey.
Bafana Bafana are scheduled to fly back to South Africa on Monday and are scheduled to arrive at OR Tambo Airport at 11h30.
Bafana Bafana starting 11 v Mauritius (Sunday, 5 July 2015 at Anjalay Stadium. Kick off 15h00 – 13h00 SA time)
Itumeleng Khune (C), Tshepo Gumede, Kwanda Mngonyana, Wandisile Letlabika, Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Gift Motupa, William Twala, Musa Nyatama, Mandla Masango, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Siphelele Ntshangase.
Subs: Jackson Mabokgwane, Vukile Mgqibisa, Modjeka Madisha, Thabang Monare, Bonginkosi Ntuli, Ndumiso Mabena, Thabo Mnyamane.