Bafana Bafana and Gambia lock horns on Saturday, 4 June 2016 at the Independence Stadium in Bakau in a match that is scheduled to kick off at 17h00 local time (19h00 SA Time).
Coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba and his team landed in Dakar in the early hours of Wednesday and will catch a connecting 45-minute flight to Banjul later in the day.
Both Mashaba and captain Itumeleng Khune said while people have spoken and exhausted the subject of South Africa’s permutation in the Group which also consists of leaders Cameroon and Mauritania, they would go for a win and leave the rest to fate.
The Bafana Bafana coach said with his team scheduled to begin the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later in the year, there was no time to relax in any of their matches.
“Yes, we will blood in any of the prospects in any given situation but winning is our primary concern,” added Mashaba.
His sentiments were echoed by goalkeeper and skipper Khune who said he was happy with the morale in the camp so far.
“So far so good; as usual, everyone is excited to turn out for the country and this particular camp has been no exception. Everyone who has been called up has vowed to put his body on the line for a bigger cause and that is what one needs going into such a match.
“We will play Mauritania in our final AFCON match then the World Cup qualifiers and it is important to keep the momentum going starting with Saturday’s game against Gambia,” said Khune.
The first match between South Africa and Gambia ended in a goalless draw in Durban (13 June 2015).
Bafana Bafana currently lie third on the table with three points after four matches. Cameroon leads the pack on 8 points, one more than second-placed Mauritania while Gambia has two points.
South Africa will host Mauritania in the last match of the qualifiers in September.
NB: The winner of the group will progress to the 16-nation AFCON finals, along with two best-placed runners up.
South Africa’s 2017 AFCON Results
South Africa 0 – 0 Gambia 13 June 2015 (Durban)
Mauritania 3 - 1 South Africa 5 September 2015 (Nouakchott)
Cameroon 2 -2 South Africa 26 March 2016 (Limbe, Cameroon)
South Africa 0 - 0 Cameroon 29 March 2016 (Durban)
Remaining 2017 AFCON Fixtures:
Gambia vs South Africa Saturday, 4 June 2016
South Africa vs Mauritania Saturday, 4 September 2016
BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD LIST 2017 AFCON QUALIFIERS vs GAMBIA