Afcon qualifiers to use Cosafa Cup wisely

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Former Bafana Bafana striker Jerry Sikhosana believes the Cosafa Cup, that gets underway in Durban this weekend, provides the perfect preparation for teams that will be playing in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) next month.

The May 25 to June 8 competition will feature four teams that have qualified for the continental spectacle to be played in Egypt.

Those teams are Bafana Bafana, Zimbabwe and Uganda, who will join at the quarter-final stage, as well as Namibia – the Brave Warriors involved from the outset. Sikhosana hopes they all use the competition wisely.

Five Afcon qualifiers were due to be present at the 2019 Cosafa Cup, but Angola withdrew at the 11th hour last week. It means one of the groups will now have three teams, with the same Group A kicking off proceedings with eSwatini and Mauritius meeting at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.

The Umlazi venue will stage eight games, while KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium is set to host five matches, including Bafana Bafana against Botswana in the last eight on June 2.

While Sikhosana is hopeful that Stuart Baxter’s side will do well in the Cosafa Cup, he feels they have pride to restore at Afcon.

The South Africans have named a second-string squad for the Cosafa Cup, although several players have a chance to force their way into Afcon contention should they impress.

Bafana are in the Group of Death for the continental spectacle.

They are in Pool D, where they will play Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia.

Sikhosana believes they need to make sure they go to Egypt with the right attitude if they wanted to ensure the trip was a successful one. – Report by Thahir Asmal