Hero of Pointe Noire confident of repeat performance

DAZZLER: Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Harold Legodi. 28/06/01. © Sowetan.
DAZZLER: Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Harold Legodi. 28/06/01. © Sowetan.

Sipho Mthembu

Sipho Mthembu

If they are properly prepared, mentally fit and focused, Bafana Bafana should bring back all three points from the hell-hole that is the Pointe Noire stadium.

These are the words of the man who pioneered Bafana Bafana's victory at the then cabbage patch Pointe Noire pitch back in January 1993 - Harold "Jazzy Queen" Legodi.

Bafana Bafana and the Red Devils were fighting for a spot in the 1994 World Cup in the US.

The then Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder collected the ball from near the halfway line, darted down the left channel and fini-shed off the only goal of the match.

Legodi recalled that then national coach Augusto Palacios had made the team train for a week on a bumpy pitch in Alexandra township.

"We went to Pointe Noire prepared for the worst, got on that bumpy pitch and did the business," he reminisced yesterday.

"I am worried about all the complaining about the condition of the pitch, which I think is trivial. That might affect the players mentally," Legodi warned.

"We have all played on bumpy pitches before and it is hard work that separates men from the boys. We did it, Orlando Pirates did not win the Champions League playing on carpet pitches. My point is, it is possible to win no matter the condition of the pitch.

"Bafana Bafana must just go out there and work hard. The hotels are terrible, the crowds are hostile but a win is possible if you want it bad enough," concluded the former star winger.