we can beat samba boys

BAFANA Bafana are relishing the excitement of playing against Brazil, saying it will provide them with a golden opportunity to show that they are rising from the ashes.

BAFANA Bafana are relishing the excitement of playing against Brazil, saying it will provide them with a golden opportunity to show that they are rising from the ashes.

They take on Brazil in what could be an explosive Confederations Cup semifinal at Ellis Park Stadium on Thursday night.

Team manager Sipho Nkumane said: "This is one of the biggest games in the history of Bafana Bafana, no wonder everybody is talking about it.

"We are all excited to have reached the semifinals, which is a great achievement for the country and the success of the Confederations Cup.

"Prior to the start of the tournament, many experts have been saying it will be great to be there as part of our preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

"We had a meeting with the players, we all agree that there is a need for the team to start showing more hunger in front of goals.

"The team is creating opportunity and ball possession, but we need goals."

"We are happy that the technical team is also attending to that challenge."

Nkumane said the players believed that Brazil could be beaten, like any other team, "but they will have to redouble their efforts to achieve that rare feat".

Bafana have played two games against Brazil, who defeated them 3-2 at Soccer City and 2-1 at Ellis Park.

"We just have to play our normal game, but the emphasis must be on playing attacking football," Nkumane said.

Bafana resumed training yesterday after being given a rest day on Sunday.

Defensive midfielder Benson Mhlongo trained with the team despite nursing a toe injury.

MacBeth Sibaya, another defensive midfielder, is out for Thursday's game after collecting his second yellow card in Saturday's 2-0 loss to Spain.

Siphiwe Tshabalala looks set to start in Sibaya's absence.

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