Pretoria: Bafana Bafana have completed their preparations ahead of tonight’s international friendly against Brazil.
The much-awaited clash will take place at 20:45 at the Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
“We are very confident because the players gave their all at training and I am positive we will do well against Brazil, the five-time world champions. We are going into the match very much attack-minded. I will be using three strikers as I don’t like to sit back and wait for them to attack us – whatever happens will happen,” said Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund.
South Africa has never beaten Brazil, despite playing three matches against them – all in Johannesburg.
They first met in April in 1996 at Soccer City with Bafana Bafana going down by three goals to two, with Phil Masinga and Doctor Khumalo scoring for Bafana. The previous two fixtures were held at the Ellis Park Stadium – the first in December 1997, South Africa going down by two goals to one with Helman Mkhalele scoring the home side’s solitary goal. In the third encounter a late Danny Alves goal knocked Bafana out of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June.
Tonight’s clash will be the first match outside South Africa.
“I have a lot of respect for Brazil and I am under no illusions that they are a great footballing nation but that in no way means we will just roll over and have them walk all over us.
“Realistically, I am looking for a win but the results don’t mean much, but what is important for me is that we need to see that change in attitude, increased passion and fantastic character and a lot of energy. If the boys can give me that and we lose then we won’t hang our heads in shame.
“This is a new start for everybody, a new era for South African football said Igesund who also had some words for the supporters of the national team.
“As for the people back home, I just want them to enjoy this match as much as we will. We want to make them proud and show that we really appreciate their support,” he said.
Bafana striker Benni McCarthy had a full training session after being sidelined on Wednesday by a troublesome calf muscle strain. He has been cleared to feature in the match.
Bafana returns home on Sunday morning and move to Nelspruit, Mpumalanga where they will play their second international friendly against Mozambique on Tuesday.