16 November 2023 – It was in Ghana that hopes were dashed and the dream of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup were crushed.

It was heartbreak when the South African senior national team did not qualify for the last instalment of the global tournament, but this time around there’s belief instilled in every player through coach Hugo Broos, and this is now firmly cemented in their minds.

Goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, who has been with the team since Broos took over as head coach, knows how agonizing it is to come so close but sadly fail to book a ticket to the tournament.

“We are determined. If you take a look at the group of players now, most of us were there and felt the pain of not making it to the World Cup. This time it’s different, we know who we are and what we can do and come 2026 we will be there. I have no doubt in my mind about that, I believe that,” said the Bafana Bafana keeper.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the national team. It’s about winning the first two games (against Benin and Rwanda) and not just performing well, but walking away from the games victorious.”

“These games are not friendlies, these games determine so much and require so much from us as well. So we have to apply ourselves in every aspect, mentally and physically. Some of us come from back-to-back games in our league and continental competitions, so there’s a delicate balance when it comes to sufficient rest as well.”

Broos’ charges host Benin in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday 18 November 2023 and afterwards, Bafana Bafana will then travel to East-Central Africa to face Rwanda in the second qualifier on Tuesday 21 November 2023.

“While I believe we can do this, and we have Africa Cup of Nations on our doorstep, I urge everyone to get behind us, support us because in every game the 12th man plays a role,” continued Mothwa. “We have been playing our part and I hope that our fans will come in numbers to support us when we hit Durban on Saturday, and to keep it going till Tuesday when we play Rwanda.”

The tickets to Saturday’s match are available for purchase at Ticketpro. General admission tickets are available at R50 (adults) and R20 (kids under 13 Years).

Please see the link for tickets available on the TicketPro website here: https://www.ticketpros.co.za/portal/web/index.php/event/249529dd-a998-790a-cafe-6549e8be61e4