Bafana Bafana desperate for result against Namibia in AFCON

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The South African men’s senior national football team is desperate for a positive result against Namibia on Sunday evening to enhance their chances of progressing to the next round of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Bafana Bafana lost their opening match to Mali 2-0 on Tuesday and they are at the bottom of Group E after opening round of matches.

Midfielder, Sphephelo Sithole, who is one of only three overseas-based players in the team, believes victory over neighbours Namibia will enhance their chances of reaching the round of 16.

“In this case, I think we need to win the game to be on the safe side but a win can be more than good enough for us”, says Sphephelo.

Bafana languish at the bottom of Group E, which also includes leaders Mali, second-placed Namibia and third-placed Tunisia.

Midfielder Teboho Mokoena says they need to avoid defeat against Namibia to stay in the tournament. “It’s not really a must-win but we must get a result against Namibia of course. I won’t be happy but we must not lose”.

Sphephelo says, “The first game was more difficult because the opponent knew what our strength but I think in the first half we dominated the game and coming into the second half they were more aggressive on us which helped them to control the game”. Bafana missed a penalty in the first half when the experienced vice-captain Percy Tau blasted his shot high.

Sithole highlights what went wrong.

“First half tactically we were good we created some few chances but second half they were more physical they managed to beat us because in physicality we are not very strong it’s a tough one to swallow of course I watched the game I still feel we could have done better but we still have another opportunity to do better in the second game,” Mokoena adds.

He believes South Africa lost the first match in the physical aspect of the game.

Bafana are based in Korhogo in the northern part of the Ivory Coast. Both Sithole and Mokoena praise the organisation and facilities for the tournament. Bafana will be looking to reach the round of 16 like they did the last time they qualified for AFCON in 2019 in Egypt.