Bafana Bafana have departed for Cameroon where they will face the host nation in a 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday, 26 March 2016. The clash will take place at Stade Limbe Omnisports in Limbe.

Bafana Bafana have departed for Cameroon where they will face the host nation in a 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday, 26 March 2016. The clash will take place at Stade Limbe Omnisports in Limbe.

Kickoff is at 15h30 local time in Cameroon (16h30 SA Time).

The two nations will again lock horns on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban in the return leg in a 19h00 kick-off.

On Wednesday, 23 March head coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba was smiling from ear to ear as he had his full team of 25 players on the field for the first time since the start of camp – this included the three Mamelodi Sundowns players – Hlompho Kekana, Themba Zwane and Asavela Mbekile – who reported for national team duty on Tuesday night.

The good news is that even those who have been watching from the sidelines with niglling injuries – Thabo Matlaba (painful toe), Anele Ngcongca (abdominal muscle strain), Rivaldo Coetze (ankle sprain), Andile Jali (dislocated shoulder) and Kamohelo Mokotjo (tight thight muscles) – were able to train.

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says they need mental strength to return victorious from Limbe.

Bafana Bafana have one point from two matches following a draw against Gambia and a loss to Mauritania.

“We are pretty much aware that we are not in a very good position, but we all know as players that we have 12 points to play for and if we can win all our remaining games we can end up with 13 points. If you look at it that could be enough to secure a place in Gabon. I think it is possible because we have players capable of producing the required results,” said Khune.

“Things are looking good, players are very confident and we are looking forward to the two games. We know we are playing against tough opposition – players who in big leagues in Europe, but I think we will be able to match them.”

Khune adds that the first leg in Limbe will crucial.

“We just need to be strong mentally especially as we are playing the first match away, so that when we return to Durban we complete the business. But I must say upfront it will not be easy, we have to fight hard for a positive outcome. We need to apply ourselves very well and give everything on the pitch. They need to know that they should expect fireworks when they come to play in South Africa,” added the Bafana Bafana goal minder.

“We are positive about a win because anything less will not help us in the position we find ourselves at the moment. These two matches are all we have, and should we come back with negative results we know it could curtains for us in the qualifiers. The good thing is that it is still in our hands, as I said earlier we have 12 points to play for, so it is up to us to go and fight for them. Cameroon is on top with six points, and should they drop points agaiinst us we will be back on track and they will be under pressure in the return fixture. But if we drop more points then we are in serious danger of not qualifying.”

He has called on the South Africans to rally behind the team.

“The first thing we need to do is to get a win away because that will invite more fans to the stadium in Durban. With the country behind us we know we can pull it off, and as players we know our responsibilities so we must just go there with a positive frame of mind,” concluded Khune.

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