South Africa face Senegal in their second match of the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 tournament today Friday, 23 January at Stade de Mongomo. Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time)
Bafana Bafana go into this match following a 3-1 loss to Algeria in the first match of the tournament and need the points desperately. Senegal defeated Ghana 2-1 in the other opening match.
“There is no way we cannot feel the pressure because it’s a must-win. But everyone is under pressure, even the opposition. So we are the same in that regard even though they have the advantage of three points from the first match and they won’t take this match lightly. They will be spitting fire just like us because we want to win this game to remain on course with our plan of going further in this tournament,” said Mashaba.
South Africa has struggled against Senegal in previous meetings – in five meetings there have been only two draws, with Senegal winning the other three clashes, but Mashaba is not fazed.
“History is something that is good to refer to. But we are in different times and era. All that has happened before won’t happen again. Unfortunately we are playing them at a wrong time when we are wounded. We will definitely make sure that we win this match,” added Mashaba.
Bafana Bafana captain Dean Furman says the players have moved on from the results of the previous match and are now focused on the new challenge.
“We have all watched World Cups and previous AFCON tournaments, and we just need to fully focus. If the confidence drops too low or you think too much about the last match then you won’t be ready for the next game. It is important for us to realise that we have a very crucial game. We have had a talk as a team and we are fully prepared of what’s ahead of us,” said Furman.
He adds that as players, they also feel the pressure.
“Of course there is pressure on everyone in this tournament, everyone wants to win. We know what’s at stake for us and we know that Senegal will have their own pressure but we will focus on our game. We know we have to get a victory and we are fully focused on the job that we have to do. We will be going out there for a win,” added Furman.
Bafana Bafana welcome back the duo of Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Eric Mathoho who were out on suspension and missed the opening match.
“Those are two massive players for us with a lot of experience. Reneilwe has over 50 caps for Bafana Bafana. Although they were not available for the first match they helped us through the match with their knowledge. And to have them back in contention is a massive boost for us and adds to a fight for places which also gives the coaches a selection headache, something that is healthy for the team,” said Furman.
Ghana will face Algeria in the other group match at 18:00 (SA time).
SA 11 vs Algeria: 22-Jackson Mabokgwane (GK), 6-Anele Ngcongca, 11-Thabo Matlaba, 14-Thulani Hlatshwayo, 3-Eric Mathoho, 15-Dean Furman (C), 5-Andile Jali, 20-Oupa Manyisa, 18-Thuso Phala, 10-Sibusiso Vilakazi, 23-Tokelo Rantie
Subs: 16-Darren Keet (GK), 1-Brilliant Khuzwayo (GK), 21-Ayanda Gcaba, 13-Thamsanqa Sangweni, 19-Themba Zwane, 12-Reneilwe Letsholonyane, 7-Mandla Masango, 8-Bongani Zungu, 17-Bernard Parker, 4-Siyabonga Nhlapho, 9-Bongani Ndulula
Injured: 2-Rivaldo Coetzee.