Bafana face hard slog before Afcon decider

Teboho Mokoena of South Africa and Miguel Almiron of Paraguay during the Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Paraguay at Moses Mabhida Stadium on November 20, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Teboho Mokoena of South Africa and Miguel Almiron of Paraguay during the Nelson Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Paraguay at Moses Mabhida Stadium on November 20, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana have three months to get their act together and qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

They need a single point from their final qualifier in Group E against Libya on March 22 next year.

Bafana have nine points and Libya have seven.

On Wednesday, Bafana had to again rely on the heroics of Percy Tau, who equalised to earn a 1-1 draw with Paraguay in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Durban.

Coach Stuart Baxter has said a lot of work will be done in the coming months before that crucial match against Libya.

"The fact that there is three months to the game means we will have to be active. We will have to try to arrange some practice games and reintegrate some of our injured players back into the team.

"Libya is a war zone and they are together in Tunisia and know each other well. They need to win and will come at us, which is why we have been working on our transition play," he said.

Baxter will be hoping that regulars including Dean Furman, Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, and Kamohelo Mokotjo will be back to full fitness by then.

In the past five days, Bafana drew 1-1 with Nigeria in an Afcon qualifier and with Paraguay in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.

The Brit was pleased that his players were put to the test by high-calibre opponents.

"Going to Libya, what I can take from this [Nigeria and Paraguay] is that we keep playing and don't give up."

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