Sport

Bafana pressured for double win

2017-08-27 07:04

The national team must beat Cape Verde and Russia in the World Cup qualifiers – nothing less will do.

If Bafana Bafana don’t get six points from Cape Verde in their Russia 2018 World Cup back-to-back qualifiers, they will certainly make things harder for themselves.

That’s the view of skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo, who says collecting points in those upcoming matches is a must.

The only thing on Hlatshwayo’s mind is winning the two matches. The hard-tackling defender is not entertaining any thoughts of a loss or draw.

Bafana will visit the island for their first match at Estádio Nacional on Friday (8.30pm).

The return leg will be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on September 5.

On October 7, Bafana will host Burkina Faso before their last Group D encounter against Senegal in Dakar.

The South Africans are tied on four points with Burkina Faso after two rounds of matches.

Senegal are third on three points, with Cape Verde at the bottom of the log with no points.

Hlatshwayo and his team-mates will assemble for camp today to begin their preparation for the campaign.

Bafana started their qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou, and went on to take the scalp of Senegal with a 2-1 victory in Polokwane, Limpopo.

Hlatshwayo, who is also the captain at Bidvest Wits, has urged his boys to do business on the Astroturf so that they can have their destiny in their own hands throughout the qualifying rounds.

He told City Press’ sister paper Sunday Sun that the last thing Bafana needed was to rely on results elsewhere.

Bafana coach Stuart Baxter named his strong 25-man squad for the trip to Cape Verde this week.

Following Bafana’s 2-0 victory over Nigeria away in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in June, the team is confident.

Bafana defeated Cape Verde with an identical score of 2-1 home and away during the Germany 2006 World Cup qualifiers.

The other tie ended in a goalless draw in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations opening game at the FNB Stadium.

Current statistics are pointing to a Bafana win.

Hlatshwayo said: “We all know the importance of winning both games. We must work hard and make sure that we get the important six points because our chances depend a lot on these two games.

“We have to beat them and do the same to Burkina Faso before we go to Senegal. Our mission is to get six points.”

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September 23 2018