17 July 2017Bafana Bafana defender and captain, Mario Booysen, says they will not be lured into a false sense of security when they face Botswana in the second leg of the 2018 CHAN qualifier.

The two nations resume hostilities on Saturday, 22 July 2017 at the Moruleng Stadium in the North West province.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

South Africa drew first blood when they won the away encounter in Botswana 2-0 on Saturday, 15 July with goals from Ryan Moon and Gift Motupa.

Bafana Bafana is back in South Africa after their successful first half of the mission, but they know it is not over yet, they still have to work hard for victory in the return leg.

SAFA.net spoke to Booysen before the squad’s return home.

Matlhomola Morake:Your impressions on the Botswana match?

Mario Booysen: I think it was a good result, and the performance was much better and more organised. We played well as a team, even though it wasn’t the prettiest at times but we were playing away and we just wanted to get a positive result to the second leg. I am happy because this is a confidence booster for the team, with the players that were called up for the CHAN, everyone did well and gave a 100 percent. We worked as a unit and stuck to our game plan. We thought it was going to be a physical encounter but they put the ball down and played well, they tried to surprise us but we got them in a few instances, and I am happy that we scored two away goals.

MM: How different was this game from the COSAFA CUP clash against Botswana?

MB: When we played the COSAFA CUP we wanted to win because we had just come back from a loss against Tanzania, and this time around we knew what they were about. Even though they changed their game plan, which suited us, because we have a lot of movement and we have quick players, we know each other, we also know how to move the ball and we have a bit of flair in the attacking half. So it was quite different, but all in all it was about our game plan and the execution. The way we scored worked according to our structure.

MM: 2-0 lead going into the second leg, does it make things easier?

MB: I won’t say it makes things any easier. Football is a game of 90 minutes, which we still have to go and play. We have to approach the game professionally – yes we have to enjoy the moment after the win, but we have to go back and work hard, prepare very well for the second leg because we want to make the country proud by going home and getting another positive result. We want to finish on a high and go through to the next round.

MM: How much pressure is there, if any, playing at home after winning away?

MB: It’s going to be a different match because they are going to throw everything at us as they have to chase the game, but I think with the coach and the technical team that we have, they already have a game plan for that. Obviously we expect a different ball game in South Africa because they will want to get back in the contest, but we will be ready for whatever they want to bring like we were on Saturday, whatever they throw at us I think we will do well.

 

MM: Captain for the first time and you come out with a win. That must be pleasing.

MB:   I don’t like to dwell on personal praise or achievements but it’s always an honour to wear the armband of your country and getting that win at the first attempt. It was a good moment and I will enjoy it while I can because it’s an opportunity for me, so I will make the most of it but at the end of the day it is all about the team not myself or the individual.

MM: For a youngster like Ryan to score on debut….

MB: I am happy for him. He is a very good boy and works very hard – I was joking with him the other day that I used to play with him and kick him a lot, now we are playing together and here he is scoring on his debut. I am really excited for the boy and he can only grow from here, we can only expect good things from him. There are a lot of good players in the team that have good expectations for themselves, Ryan is one of them, and I think they can grow into better players and go on to represent the country with pride, and always give their best, so I am happy for him. I think he did very well.

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