“We just need to keep our feet grounded and the rest will follow,” said Vilakazi on Sunday after his side beat Santos 3-1 in a practice match at Athlone Stadium
“The players know what it means to represent one’s country. They know that behind their backs that they are carrying the hopes of 52 million people.”
Vilakazi came on as a substitute in the second half and scored the first two goals for South Africa as they surged ahead, but warned the focus should be on their second qualifier match against Nigeria, in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Vilakazi said a more committed mental approach was one of the reasons behind Bafana’s resounding victory over Sudan on Friday night.
“That is one philosophy coach Shakes Mashaba has been drumming home now and again and I am seeing the attitude of players has tremendously changed.
“They are prepared to die for a just cause, work for each other and want to bring pride and happiness to the country. That is the type of task any responsible citizen needs to carry to make a difference in society.”
Nigeria, meanwhile, fell to a 3-2 loss to Congo in their opening qualifier match on Saturday, and Vilakazi was optimistic his side could get a win at home.
“We know our history against Nigeria but we are determined to change all that. History is always there to be rewritten and I am confident that come Wednesday, we will put smiles on most South Africans.”
Captain Senzo Meyiwa said with the type of atmosphere in the Bafana camp, the Super Eagles would indeed face a stiff opposition.
“Yes, they say in soccer certain teams have their hoodoo side but we are ready for the Nigeria match,” said Meyiwa.
“We are all determined to change the course of history and everyone cannot wait for Wednesday.”