Bafana Bafana should cruise into the group stages of 2018 World Cup qualifying this evening when they take on Angola at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban at 7pm.
Shakes Mashaba has warned against complacency following the impressive 3-1 first leg victory in Benguela, while Angolan coach Romeu Filemon has publicly refused to give up the ghost. Yet the reality is that there is probably more chance of an iceberg appearing off the coast of Durban’s North Beach than there is of Palancas Negras turning this tie around.
Indeed, it speaks volumes of a lack of tension within the Bafana camp this week that suspended midfielder Andile Jali has been allowed to leave the camp and spend time with his family, before heading back to club football in Belgium with KV Oostende.
“He showed a lot professionalism by training with the team on Sunday and gave his all,” said Mashaba in commending Jali, but it seems unlikely he would have got such grace if this tie was on more of a knife-edge.
All this, of course, is to Bafana’s credit, for doing so much to kill off potentially tricky opponents in Benguela. And Bafana must now press for another win in Durban, if nothing else to keep the momentum going ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon in March.