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'We won't come out guns blazing'

By Marc Strydom | Jan 18, 2013 |

BAFANA Bafana will take a cautiously positive approach to the start of the opening game of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations against Cape Verde at the National Stadium tomorrow.

Kickoff is at 6pm.

Cape Verde are the supposed minnows of Group A but knocked Cameroon out of the qualifiers with home and away wins, and with a ranking of 69th in the world they are almost 18 places above South Africa.

With Morocco (January 23) and Angola (January 27) still to come in the group, Bafana will be desperate for a win in their opener to raise the spirits of their supporters and ease the pressure on themselves as hosts.

But coach Gordon Igesund said yesterday, ahead of his side's training session at Orlando Stadium, that Bafana would not come out all guns blazing against the national team of the island archipelago off west Africa.

"It's always tricky - how do you start off a game?" the coach said. "We don't necessarily want to come out all guns (blazing) - you need to respect the opposition.

"The gap is closing between the so-called giants of football and the minnows. We'll give them the respect they deserve, but obviously we'd also like to try and score a goal nice and early - start the game offensively - but by the same token keep it nice and tight. This team is a difficult team in the sense that they're very tough runners. They run and they run and they close down, although they have played on very small pitches in their last two games and the park (at National Stadium) is nice and big and we can stretch them."

Igesund said he had done his preparation on Cape Verde, including watching the tapes of their games this month against Nigeria (a 0-0 draw) and Tunisia in June (a 2-1 defeat). The coach has identified key men such as RKC Waalwijk defender Guy Ramos and dangerous Lille striker Ryan Mendes.

"I've got a lot of information on Cape Verde - each of my players will get a DVD of the player he's playing against. They'll be very familiar with the players individually so when I'm doing my team talk they'll be able to refer to the player immediately."

Igesund said he had to improvise as he crammed in Bafana's final preparations this week.

"It's been tough all along and it's no good saying have we got enough time, or whatever. That's how it is and that's what we've got to cope with. We've got to improvise if there are issues. As I said before, we'll be ready. And I've got to work the players a little bit extra, but then you rest them after training - more water, more swimming and more ice for recovery."

The opening match was sold out by yesterday. Asked if he was surprised, Igesund replied: "Not really. There's a lot of passionate supporters in South Africa. We had full houses in the World Cup, and the Afcon in 1996. In South Africa everybody waits until the last minute to by tickets.

l Morocco and Angola face off in the second Group A match, at 9pm.

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GI, give no opponets respect go out there and by hook or crook!

Jan 18, 2013 7:46 | 0 replies



Jan 18, 2013 10:49 | 0 replies

'Wonder what the headlines would be after Bafana Bafana's first game.

Jan 18, 2013 10:59 | 0 replies

@NICEBOOBS u r in denial stop boasting yo confidence and admit our BB is not gud enough to beat such high ranked teams like Cape Verde , Angola, Zambia even Botswana for crying out loud

Jan 18, 2013 11:12 | 0 replies


The only person who won't see the difference is you and your fat ass. When you wake up kusasa, you will still be fat. hahaha tltltlt

Jan 18, 2013 11:35 | 0 replies



Jan 18, 2013 11:38 | 0 replies


My friend, I think its because it's their 1st AFCON tornament. They managed to climb during the qualifiers.

Makes sense, thanx mate, but still it means we need to take them seriously. We should not do the PIRATES vs LIBOLO thing.

Jan 18, 2013 11:52 | 0 replies

109% behind you Boys and the likes of Bra Mafura zama go kaka maybe it will help you to lose some fat!

Jan 18, 2013 11:54 | 0 replies



Jan 18, 2013 11:56 | 0 replies

Guys i am only worried about our central defence, Sangweni and Khumalo. They dont look convincing.
Dean Furman plays too simple, i hope Yeye starts

Jan 18, 2013 11:58 | 0 replies

I foresee another big looooze for the lazy boyz...

Jan 18, 2013 12:0 | 0 replies