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Coach Shakes says Bafana must stand firm against Congo
- Updated: October 15, 2014
Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba has cautioned that his players will need to be mentally strong to defeat Congo for the second time in four days when the two nations clash in a CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015 qualifier at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday
The South African squad is on a high after defeating Congo 2-0 in the reverse fixture played in Pointe Noire at the weekend.
‘Mental strength will be the key in this match. It is going to more difficult than it was in Congo because they have nothing to lose and they will throw everything at us,’ said Mashaba.
‘It is critical that we stay focused and not make too many changes to our plans. I have told the players that we may be in the driving seat but it is not over yet, we have to fight for victory in the same way we did in Pointe Noire, and actually even up our game. They gave us some problems towards the end of the match which showed that if left unchecked they can cause serious damage,’ said Mashaba.
But the Bafana Bafana mentor is also pleased with how quickly his charges have adapted to his style.
‘To be honest, I didn’t expect so much change so quickly in terms of results. We were looking at gradually building the side but we now appear to be the team to beat, so we were a little bit surprised at the way they adapted to our methods. It really pleases us as the technical team as it shows we are doing something right,’ added Mashaba.
In the other Group A match, Sudan face Nigeria in a must-win clash for the Super Eagles.
South Africa are top of the group with seven points, one more than second-placed Congo, while Sudan are third with three points. Nigeria, defending Africa Cup of Nations champions are surprisingly languishing in fourth place with just one point from three outings – a lucky goalless draw achieved against Bafana Bafana.