Pitso's shot at redemption - Reinvented Schillo lifts coach
PITSO Mosimane gets a chance to redeem himself on Sunday.
The Bafana Bafana coach can find redemption for the Africa Cup of Nations debacle in Nelspruit last year, in the World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
In Nelspruit last year, Mosimane and his technical team misread the rules and Bafana's goalless draw against Sierra Leone eliminated the South Africans from the Afcon rather than qualifying them as Mosimane and company had believed.
Victory against Ethiopia on Sunday and also another one against Botswana on the road six days later, will not only take some pressure off Mosimane, but will help shift the Mbombela mess-up further into the background.
Indeed, Mosimane believes the process has already started.
"We have dealt with the past (not qualifying for the Afcon finals) and have our focus back in the team," Mosimane said yesterday.
"From when I signed the papers to coach this team I knew what I was getting myself into. It's part of the package.
"To win the two games is crucial for us on the road to Brazil 2014."
So how will the coach avoid another failed attempt at qualifying for a major tournament?
"We have to win all our home games. There's no real formula, but in a group format, you have to finish as No 1 to qualify.
"We planned it well for the Nations Cup and had unexpected results against Egypt (beating them at home and drawing away), but it was Niger who went through," he said.
He has challenges ahead of Sunday's match, the injury to key defender Siyabonga Sangweni being the biggest obstacle after the Orlando Pirates man was ruled out of the two World Cup qualifiers.
Lack of goals and a winless streak that has stretched back nine months is another stumbling block for the Bafana coach.
"We need everyone to come to the party and convert the chances.
"The responsibility does not just fall on Bhele (Siyabonga Nomvethe) and Katlego Mphela. Steven Pienaar has also now just been doing it for his club (Everton) and his game has changed slightly and that is positive for us," said Mosimane.