2 June 2018 – The first time Bafana Bafana and Madagascar met was 24 years ago in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Antananarivo, and South Africa emerged victorious with an odd goal.

To date, there have been five matches between the two nations, with Bafana Bafana winning four encounters, and one match drawn.

They face each other again in the quarterfinal of the 2018 COSAFA Cup tournament currently underway in Polokwane.

The clash takes place on Sunday, 3 June at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium, with a 15h00 kickoff.

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse says despite the stats being in favour of his country, history counts for nothing in international football and they cannot afford to take the Malagasy lightly.

“In football everyday is a new day and a new challenge so we can’t really look at history – yes, it’s good for us – but at the end of the day, they have played a few games and have been gelling so we just need to get together because Madagascar is not going to be an easy opponent and we need to be prepared for them,” said Pieterse.

The 20 Bafana Bafana players have a combined 45 caps, and Pieterse says there is a lot of talent in the squad to take the game to Madagascar.

“It’s going to be a really exciting game, we have prepared very well and the technical team has given us all the ammunition we need for this encounter and the players are really looking forward to this clash. It’s an exciting time for us with a lot of youngsters coming through with a lot of talent, so it’s definitely looking good for the country and for Bafana Bafana ahead,” adds Pieterse.

South Africa comes into this match at the back of one practice match with an ABC Motsepe League team, while Madagascar has already played three games in the tournament, but Pieterse is not fazed even though they will be playing together for the first time in an international match.

“There could be a lot of pros and cons towards the game, but looking at how things will pan out either they will be tired or they will come out sharp, so we just need to be prepared for what they throw at us and we need to be know what we have to do – that is to utilise every strength we have in the team and go through to the next round,” said Pieterse.

“It is a challenge that everyone comes from different clubs where they are used to different styles of play but our preparations have been going quite well, coach Baxter and his technical team have been trying to get us to gel together – we played a practice match and it went very well, so it is coming together nicely. I believe we can go all the way. The talent that we have here is insane, and there are players that have been left out as well. For me it’s incredible to have such talent on display for Bafana Bafana, I am really looking forward to the tournament.”

On the goalkeeping department, Pieterse is facing a strong challenge from Bruce Bvuma and Khulekani Kubheka.

“You can’t take anything for granted, with me being the senior one of the lot, I don’t take anything for granted as they are pushing me. I also know I need to push myself to be better, to give advice where needed and also to learn from them because everyday is a learning day, so I never want to take anything for granted, but I need to do the best I can do and hopefully inspire the ones that are around me,” said Pieterse.

Bafana Bafana have scored five goals against the Malagasy and have not conceded any.

The winner of this clash will face Zambia in the semi-final scheduled for Wednesday, 6 June at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

The loser between South Africa and Madagascar will take on Namibia, who lost 4-3 on penalties to Zambia in the quarterfinal.

SOUTH AFRICA VS MADAGASCAR HEAD-TO-HEAD

P      W    D   L   GF   GA
5      4     1    0    5     0

4 September 1994
v Madagascar 1-0
African Nations Cup qualifying group 5
Mahamasina Municipal stadium, Antananarivo

Coach: Clive Barker.

12 May 2002
v Madagascar 1-0
Friendly international
King’s Park, Durban

Coach: Jomo Sono.

21 July 2002
v Madagascar 0-0
Cosafa Castle Cup quarter-final
Boet Erasmus stadium, Port Elizabeth
South Africa won 4-1 on pens

Coach: Jomo Sono.

29 March 2003
v Madagascar 2-0
Friendly international
Soccer City, Johannesburg

Coach: Ephraim Mashaba.

19 September 2009
v Madagascar 1-0
friendly international
GWK Stadium, Kimberley

Coach: Joel Santana

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