No panic for Bafana Bafana ahead of Afcon qualifier

Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo pictured here with his deputy Itumeleng Khune. Hlatshwayo will lead Bafana against Libya in an Afcon qualifier on Sunday.
Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo pictured here with his deputy Itumeleng Khune. Hlatshwayo will lead Bafana against Libya in an Afcon qualifier on Sunday.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

Thulani Hlatshwayo does not believe the game against Libya is his biggest test in a Bafana Bafana jersey, but the skipper knows that anything less than qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) would be a disaster.

SA take on Libya at the Stade Taieb Mhiri on Sunday (7pm) in a crucial clash that will decide who qualifies for the Afcon tournament in Egypt later this year.

The team held their first training session in Tunis yesterday ahead of their final Group E match in Sfax.

"I have played in bigger games, but it is an important game and we know how important it is for the country," he said.

"There will always be pressure playing for Bafana. It's a crucial game, we will go for a win even though we just need a draw."

It seems like the Libyans have tried to make life as difficult as possible for Bafana after deciding on the date and match venue late.

Confederation of African Football allows the host team to confirm the details of games three weeks prior to the scheduled weekend.

Bafana flew to Frankfurt, Germany first on Saturday before taking a flight to Tunis. They will be based in the capital until Thursday when they will have to travel three hours by road to Sfax.

"There is a lot of mind games from Libya considering that they told us late about the venue, but we have a lot of experienced players.

"It's a do or die game, so we expect Libya to come at us."

Coach Stuart Baxter has reiterated that they will not have a defensive approach.

"We will have to be quite aggressive, with the desire to get on their throats every time we can, but with great attention to our defending" Baxter said.

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