‘Nation’s ready for a win’

SA fans have all put their weight behind Bafana Bafana to win Saturday night’s Afcon match against Mali.

Bafana Bafana pose for a group photograph prior to a training session at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Friday, 11 January 2013. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

DURBAN - Scores of soccer fans have poured in through the gates of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where Bafana Bafana will take on Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal on Saturday night.

Over 45,000 fans are expected to pack the stadium and cheer the home team on in their first Afcon quarterfinal in over a decade.

The match kicks off at 20:30 and these fans said they are expecting no less than a win from Bafana.

"I'm expecting goals and we have to win… at least 2-0."

"Nkosi sikel'iAfrica is our prayer today and we hope that the boys are going to do us proud," said another fan.

Scores of fans in Green and Yellow were blowing Vuvuzelas and waiting for the match to kick off.

Bafana Coach Gordon Igesund has made two changes to his side, to make up Saturday night's starting eleven.

Defender Siboniso Gaxa is in for Anale Ncongca who is serving a one match suspension, while Reneilwe Letsholonyane will also add another cap for the home side.

Mali have also got problems of their own, as danger man Mamadou Samassa was also out on suspension.

Many fans have predicted Bafana will win the match 2-0.


The home side will be hoping to avoid a repeat of history, where in 2002 at the Mali Afcon tournament, they were beaten 2-0 at the Stade Abdoulaye Nakoro Cissoko, in Mali.

The national football team did not make it past the group stages in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 tournaments and did not qualify for the 2010 and 2012 tournaments respectively.

It has been 14 years since Bafana have made it into an Afcon final, that being the 1998 tournament that was hosted in Burkina Faso, where they were beaten 2-0 by Egypt.

The 2013 tournament is Bafana's eighth appearance in African Cup of Nations history.

The starting eleven for Bafana Bafana, according to supersport.com is as follows:

Itumeleng Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Bongani Khumalo (captain), Siyabonga Sangweni, Tsepo Masilela, Dean Furman, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, May Mahlangu, Thuso Phala, Bernard Parker and Tokelo Rantie.