MALABO: SOUTH Africa, stunned by a campaign that has gotten off to a horrible start, are confident of defying the odds heavily stacked against them and put their Orange Africa Cup of Nations campaign back on track.
Bafana Bafana, as the side that promised so much ahead of the 30th edition of the tournament, find themselves rooted at the bottom of the so-called Group of Death with a tricky tie against Senegal up next.
The two sides square up at the Stadio de Mongomo on Friday evening with the Southern African side needing nothing short of a victory to secure faint hopes remaining of progressing to the second round.
Midfielder Thuso Phala, scorer of the face-saver as the 1996 champions snatched a 3-1 defeat from the jaws of victory against Algeria in their first match, is confident his side can bounce back. “We all come from teams who have lost games before. We have all been in a hole before,” a confident Phala told media ahead of the 2100 (South African time) kick-off.
“We keep motivating ourselves because we know we are a good team and we will come back strongly in the remaining two games.” After the Senegal clash, Bafana face Ghana on Tuesday. South Africa assistant coach Thabo Senong echoed Phala’s sentiments ahead of the challenging schedule.
“We still believe we will get the needed result to go through to the next round. We are looking forward to getting three points against Senegal, but I must add that it is not an easy side to beat. They have very good attackers,” he said.
Senong believes the technical team has identified their opponents’ flaws. “They are a bit slow at the back. If we can use our strength, our ability to get behind their players and take our chances when we are in and around the box, I believe we have a chance of victory.”
Meanwhile, an earlier match in the same group on Friday, Ghana will take on Algeria.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY