30 August 2017 – Bafana Bafana midfielder, Dean Furman has described Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde here in Praia’s Estadio Nacional as a massive game which might set the tone for Russia 2018.
Speaking after the team trained at the match venue on Wednesday morning, Furman said the team spirit was amazing despite an energy-sapping 13-hour flight which saw the team fly via Libreville, Gabon to refill.
Bafana Bafana left OR Tambo around 11h00 on Tuesday morning but only arrived in Cape Verde’s Nelson Mandela International Airport just before midnight on Tuesday.
With a 3-hour difference, it means the boys had to have a full blown training at around 11h00 on Wednesday.
Both Furman and coach Stuart Baxter said while it might have been early to say whether the team was gelling to their liking or not, it was the positive energy in the team that they both found amazing and exciting.
“A win here on Friday will definitely set things nicely. It will galvanise us to go for the kill on 5 September at Moses Mabhida Stadium and if we win the two matches, that will give us a huge 10 points cushion.
“It means if that happens, FNB Stadium will be beaming when Burkina Faso travel to South Africa in October. These are exciting times,” said Furman.
He was supported by Kamohelo Mokotjo who is now with Brentford FC in England who said having garnered a huge 2-0 away win over Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, things were really getting interesting again for the Senior Men’s National Team.
“It would be great to produce such performances on constant basis and everyone is looking forward to Friday’s game,” he said.
All players have reported for duty with the South African based players meeting their overseas counterparts here in Praia on Tuesday evening.
“I like the spirit in this team,” said coach Baxter.
“If there is one thing you can’t fault the boys it is their camaraderie and unity,” he added saying he didn’t want to put the team under pressure by insisting for a win at all costs.
Baxter said having produced a good win over Nigeria, he had emphasised among the players to do so on constant basis.
“We all want to go to Russia and qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and there is no better motivation for players than the idea of qualifying for two major global tournaments,” he said.