Despite spending almost the whole day in the air, Bafana Bafana were in a confident mood when they landed in Cape Verde on Tuesday evening. The team arrived safely in Praia last night after an 11-hour flight from South Africa, with a refuelling stop-over in Libreville, Gabon.
But the daunting long-haul flight did not dampen the spirits among the locally based players – they showed no signs of fatigue or complaints ahead of Friday’s 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier.
They were met by the overseas-based players who flew directly to the Atlantic Ocean Island. Turkey-based striker Tokelo Rantie was the only missing player but was due to arrive this morning.
The team was accompanied by Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi and Safa president Danny Jordaan. The minister took turns talking to the players along the way in an effort to motivate them and assure them of the government’s support.
His gesture was appreciated by the Safa president, who welcomed his decision to travel with the team.
Bafana were due to step up their preparations on Wednesday with their first training session as a group. The locally based players had one session at home on Monday afternoon but coach Stuart Baxter would have a full complement of the team from today.
Kick off for Friday game is 8.30pm South African time.