Bafana Bafana go into a tricky 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe on Thursday evening which is another must win match for South Africa.
The neighbours will be a different side to the one that played in the first leg in Harare after the recent appointment of coach Norman Mapeza.
The final two rounds of group matches will be the most competitive for the Warriors as they start preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations Cup (AFCON) early next year.
Zimbabwe are already out of the race for 2022 World Cup. But they have something to play for.
Although Bafana Bafana will face a changed side from the one they played against in the first leg, the Zimbabweans will be looking to impress Mapeza for selection for the AFCON squad.
It’s one of the points that Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has made note of knowing that their counterparts will not make it easy for them.
Broos says, “If you see the selection of Zimbabwe, there are a lot of local players. So I think the coach will try something with them. It is his last training matches before Africa Cup of Nations.”
“So he will try and see what players he may be able to go with to AFCON in January. But Zimbabwean players always like to show something here is South Africa.”
Bafana Bafana go into the penultimate round of group matches, one point clear of Ghana in Group G.
Broos says their biggest mistake will be not to take on Thursday’s match seriously.
He is however confident in his players when he reflects on how they have exerted themselves throughout the campaign.
“They have proved it in the last four games on different ways. I know that the mentality is very good in the group. I know that the atmosphere is very good, the way they treat each other the way they are training. So everything is there to have a positive result,” explains Broos.
Bafana Bafana has often fallen at the last hurdle during major tournament qualifiers. It was a similar situation in the recent AFCON qualifiers.
Bafana Bafana vice-captain Percy Tau says they are in a reasonably better space now to rectify past failures.
“For sure we want to do better we want progress in our team we would have loved to go to the afcon and that is not the situation but at the moment we would want to do better than that,” adds Tau.
At stake are maximum points with the battle being between Bafana Bafana and Ghana to make it to the next round of qualifiers.
Broos is not concerned that the outcome of that match will impact his players’ core focus.
He emphasised the importance of his team being attentive to their task at hand.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane on Bafana Bafana vs Zimbabwe ahead of the game: