South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordan says Senegal are a tough side but Bafana Bafana can beat them if the Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba’s boys have self-confidence.
Jordaan says the national soccer team has a duty to make the country proud by snatching three points from a quality team like the Lions of Teranga.
Bafana face Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane tomorrow.
“They must believe they can beat Senegal and give us a result. Between the two countries, it has always been a margin of one goal either side,” Jordaan said. “It is going to be tough. It is going to be difficult. It is unpredictable. It can either be a scorcher or slippery wet pitch. Ultimately it depends on our players and what they want and what they believe. They must believe in themselves”
Jordaan was at Peter Mokaba to motivate Mashaba’s boys ahead of the crunch match against Senegal.
He said it was important for Bafana to win the game if they were to boost their chances of getting a booking a spot in the global showpiece in two years-time.
”In African football, there is nothing important than to qualify for the World Cup. Senegal has been there in 2002. They went to the quarter finals. They had a wonderful team then but since then for some reasons wheels came off. They have reassembled a very good team but the team has nothing to show,” the SAFA chief added.
He said playing World Cup qualifying games was a tough encounter in itself.
Apart from the forced withdrawals of Mamelodi Sundowns defender Tebogo Langerman due to a hamstring tear, and SuperSport United midfielder Dean Furman because of a fractured rib, Bafana’s preparations continued smoothly.
Mashaba has replaced the injured duo with Mamelodi Sundowns’ Tiyani Mabunda and Maritzburg United Deolin Mekoa.
Jordaan said the campaign would be tough, but Bafana would do themselves a favour by collecting maximum points at home.
”History will show that we have always performed against Senegal. In African Cup of Nations in 2015 in Equatorial Guinea we played them off the park, took the lead and we were dominant until we made a few blunders. There is no margin for error in these matches,” he said.
“It is World Cup qualifiers; there are 54 countries on the continent. Everyone wants to go to the World cup. Every country is going to fight to be there. So it depends on what our team is going to do tomorrow. They must just keep in mind that if they a get a result tomorrow, we are in the driving seat to Russia. That is important for us.”
Kick-off for the match is at 3pm.