Bafana looking for Afcon redemption against Senegal
The team are desperate for a morale booster and a win over Senegal on Tuesday.
JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba and his troops are looking to put Saturday's disastrous 3-1 loss to Mauritania in the Afcon 2017 qualifier in Nouakchott behind them and are hoping to use Tuesday night's Nelson Mandela Challenge as a spring board to better things.
That loss to the North Africans at the weekend left the South Africans' qualification for the continental competition in shambles, as they have now picked up just one point from a possible six and lie despairingly in third place in Group M above Gambia and behind Mauritania and group leaders Cameroon, who, by the looks of things, could be the side to advance to the 2017 showpiece.
The team are desperate for a morale booster and a win over Senegal in the annual Mandela challenge could provide them with the kind of boost they seek, however their record against the Lions of Teranga is less than flattering.
Bafana have won only one match against the Senegalese, which came in the 2002 edition of the Mandela Challenge, through a penalty shootout and since then, the national team has lost twice and drawn three times, with the last draw coming in the crucial Afcon 2015 group match in Equatorial Guinea.
Mashaba has lamented the dire need to score goals and says that they have looked to explore every possible tactic to try and put that ball in the back of the net.
"By bouncing back is to score goals because playing good football and not scoring counts for nothing that's why we've encouraged shooting from outside the box."
The players have also identified some of the obstacles they may come across when they face off with Senegal.
Defender, Clayton Daniels says it's a perfect opportunity.
"We're gonna use this game to redeem ourselves, it's not gonna be easy, it's gonna be a very physical game, big and strong guys, we have to be up for the fight"
Tuesday night's match will be Bafana's second of eight internationals that they will play until November this year, which include two friendly matches against Costa Rica and Honduras as well as two African Nations Championship matches against Angola, followed lastly by two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against the same side in November.
Their next Afcon 2017 qualifier will take place in March next year, where they will face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in two consecutive legs between the 23 and 29 March.