Bafana Bafana will face Sudan in their second 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Orlando Stadium today, already under serious pressure to rack up a victory, following their uninspiring loss to Ghana on Thursday evening.
The cramped nature of these two matches mean Bafana have little time to recover from the game against the Black Stars at the Cape Coast Stadium, only landing back in the country late yesterday afternoon, giving them only one training session to prepare for Sudan, who should be in high spirits and who have had an extra day’s rest, after their 4-0 thumping of Sao Tome on Wednesday.
Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki did indicate that there would be changes to the starting line-up today, with one enforced alteration, as Bongani Zungu picked up a serious-looking knee injury in Ghana.
“We have prepared the team very well for back-to-back matches,” said Ntseki after the loss to the Black Stars.
“Everyone is available for Sunday (today) except Zungu – we have a balanced squad and are looking forward to Sunday and to winning the match.”
Ntseki admitted he had lost the tactical battle to his counterpart Kwesi Appiah, but also said that he could not find fault with his own players, even though they did not muster a single shot at Richard Ofori’s Black Stars goal.
“You had two teams that were very compact, if you look at Ghana, they also didn’t have too many shots, except their goal from Thomas (Partey). Their second goal was a transition after winning the ball from us, and we were open at the back. When they had possession in our half they never hurt us. Both teams were so compact, Percy Tau tried to dribble through them, and we tried to overload the wings … we couldn’t get inside the box, we were shooting from outside the box. These are areas we need to work on as a coach and a team. But I think if I look at the performance of the players today, I can’t say the tactics did not work out. We must also respect the opposition and how they defended against us.
“It was not a personal war (with Appiah), I have so much respect for coach Appiah, it was a war of tactics. If you look at Ghana, they put so much effort in and managed two goals, I am not saying our players did not put the effort in, but unfortunately we could not win the match, so if you want to say it, then Appiah did win the war.”
It seems likely that Kamohelo Mokotjo will replace Zungu in today’s line-up, while Lebo Mothiba could come in for Bradley Grobler, who is struggling with form.