Bafana united in drive to win for Meyiwa
Bafana Bafana will take on Sudan in their Afcon 2015 qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Shakes Mashaba has emphasised the team need to focus on the job at hand as they all come to terms with the death of captain Senzo Meyiwa.
The Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain was shot and killed on 26 October while visiting his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, sparking the massive manhunt which led police to Mbatha.
The common thread amongst the players is the fact they want to do well to honour Meyiwa's memory, something that will certainly spur the players on.
Despite the national team's log-topping performances they are yet to win a game at home.
Many have been left surprised as Bafana are unbeaten on the road as they recorded wins in Sudan and Congo.
They have not been able to replicate those performances in front of the home crowd and that is something they are hoping to tomorrow.
Midfielder Mandla Masango says it's only a matter of time before they record their first home victory.
"Everywhere you play there is pressure. Whether you play for a small team, big club or national team there's always pressure. We thrive on that [pressure]. The fact that we are currently on top, there is pressure. We have to make sure we go out there and are prepared."
Another contentious matter Mashaba has to deal with is who will captain the side for the clash.
However, he reiterated the role of a captain is more significant during training that in a game.
One person who has put their hand up for the captaincy role is Dean Furman. The English-based player is one of the most senior faces in the team and he was one of the few retained by Mashaba from the Gordon Igesund era.
Furman said there are many leaders in the team and it's not about individuals.
"We all know we have a responsibility. We saw how well Senzo captained his team in his four games. We all know how good of a captain Itumeleng Khune is. For us, it's about all of us being leaders out there on the pitch. It's not about one individual just because he has the armband."
One concerning fact could be the referee who is set to officiate the game in Durban.
Algerian, Mohamed Benouza will take charge of his fourth match involving Bafana.
In the last match he officiated, South Africa lost 3-1 to Nigeria at the CHAN tournament earlier this year. Vuyo Mere was sent off in that game and Bafana conceded a penalty.
Bafana will have to be very disciplined if they want to make sure they get a good result.