Bafana training hard for FIFA qualifiers

Coach Gordon Igesund says the team is fired up and ready to make it through the qualifiers.

Bafana players stretch at a training session at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Friday, 11 January 2013. The team will play a friendly match against Algeria at the venue on Saturday. Bafana Bafana face the Cape Verde Islandsin the African Cup of Nations opener at the National Stadium on January 19.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - With the FIFA World Cup qualification on the line, Bafana Bafana's stars are currently hard at work in camp.

South Africa will face Lesotho on 2 June in a friendly and then Central African Republic (CAR) and Ethiopia on 8 and 16 June respectively with a spot in Brazil at stake.

Coach Gordon Igesund admits it's a hectic period coming up for the national team.

"We had our first training session together and we will have another one on Thursday and Friday. We will depart on Friday afternoon for Lesotho. We will come back immediately after the game, be at the camp for a day and then fly out to Cameroon."

Igesund said it's do or die for Bafana in these upcoming qualifiers.

"Unfortunately we were not in a good situation going into the qualifiers but fortunately we got our first three points against CAR. We are in a situation where we must win our games and the guys are fired up for it. I think I have the right blend of players, it's a great opportunity for them."

Despite playing three consecutive away matches, Igesund said they made provisions to assist the players.

"Planning was good and we're very fortunate to play in Cameroon, which is neutral ground and we going to have that as our base. We are only going to Ethiopia a day after the match because of the high altitude."

Despite suffering multiple injuries, Igesund is confident his new defensive unit can compete on the world stage.

Kaizer Chiefs defender Siboniso Gaxa is the latest player to be ruled out, joining a handful of defenders already on the sideline.

He'll be replaced by Russia based Siyanda Xulu.

Igesund says with injury comes opportunity.

"Khumalo, Sangweni, and Masilela are out. They are all my central defenders, we are all very positive and my players are capable. Mashomati, Mathoho and Fransman have all been outstanding for their clubs and this is an opportunity for them."