Bafana Bafana can progress from AFCON group stage – Ofori

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Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori believes Bafana Bafana have the capability to progress from their Africa Cup of Nations ‘group of death’.

Stuart Baxter’s side has been pooled in what is widely perceived as the toughest group in the continental competition, which kicks off in Egypt on Friday.

Alongside South Africa, winners of the 1996 competition, in Group E, are two-time former champions Ivory Coast, another past winner in Morocco and neighbours Namibia.

Ofori admits it will be tough, but says Bafana do stand as good a chance as their three opponents.

Ofori, who plays for Premier Soccer League club Maritzburg United, got a close look at the South African national team during a friendly match between the two countries in Dubai five days ago.

Although Bafana have assembled a strong team, they are slightly weakened in the goalkeeping department where star man Itumeleng Khune is missing.

The experienced Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper has been sidelined since January with a shoulder injury, with Baxter naming his Amakhosi teammate Bruce Bvuma, Ronwen Williams and Darren Keet – the expected starter, as his alternatives.

Ofori says all three can do the job for SA.

Ofori, the Black Stars’ No.: 1 goalkeeper, will be making his second appearance at the finals, with his last one seemingly earning him his move to South Africa.

He says there are plenty of good shot-stoppers on the continent, but revealed how he was continuing to be inspired by Mamelodi Sundowns custodian, Denis Onyango.

The 34-year-old will also be in Egypt with Uganda and Ofori says he is hugely inspired by the Brazilians’ star. – Report by Thahir Asmal