whither sa?

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Bruised Bafana Bafana return to their happy hunting ground eager to scatter the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone tomorrow.

The must-win 2010 World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations qualifier takes place at Super Stadium in Atteridgeville.

South Africa are under tremendous pressure to win to revive their chances of qualifying for the Afcon finals in Angola.

The pressure comes after Bafana Bafana were defeated 1-0 by the same Sierra Leone in Freetown last weekend in their first leg match.

The defeat resulted in Butana Komphela, the convenor of the portfolio committee on sport and recreation, reviving calls for Bafana Bafana to be "nationalised".

Makhenkesi Stofile, the minister of sport and recreation, was the first to make the call, arguing that they want the team to perform better during the 2010 World Cup.

Truth be told, Bafana Bafana are a disgrace to the country and the selected players seem be unaware how important it is to wear a national jersey.

The goal-shy Bafana Bafana are wasting easy scoring opportunities, which is a cause for concern to many South Africans who are passionate about the beautiful game.

It is clear that coach Joel Santana will have to start paying more attention to Bafana Bafana's finishing as a matter of urgency if we are to do well.

Bafana Bafana have become poor travellers lately but tend to liven up at home as was the case when they beat Paraguay and Equatorial Guinea.

They beat the South Americans 3-0 in a friendly and went on to hammer Equatorial Guinea 4-1 in a qualifying match.

Both matches were staged at tomorrow's venue.

Bafana Bafana look set to welcome back the central defence pair of captain Aaron Mokoena and Bevan Fransman, who missed the Freetown shocker due to injuries. They rejoin Bryce Moon and Tsepo Masilela at the back.

Teko Modise, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Steven Pienaar and MacBeth Sibaya will have to be ruthless in the middle of the park to ensure that the Leone Stars are grounded - more so if a player like Dikgacoi could also be allowed to attack more, as was the case in the game against Equatorial Guinea.

Up front, Thembinkosi Fanteni will be partnered by Surprise Moriri. Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who turns 21 today, is an automatic choice in that department.

Sierra Leone will once again look to Mohammed Kallon, scorer of last weekend's goal from the penalty spot, to turn the heat on Bafana Bafana's shaky defence.

They welcome back Sahr Senassi, Pienaar's former teammate at Borrusia Dortmund in Germany, from suspension.

Other players to watch out for include Mamadou Bah and Samuel Barlay.

l In Abuja tomorrow, Nigeria will be chasing their fourth consecutive win in the qualifiers when they meet Equatorial Guinea.

Log leaders Nigeria won the first leg 1-0 in Malabo last Saturday where Joseph Yobo scored the only goal of the match.