Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki switches focus to Afcon qualifiers
With a maiden win in the bag following his appointment in August‚ Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has now set his sights on the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.
The national team‚ who have been drawn in Afcon's Group C alongside Ghana‚ Sudan and Sao Tome e Principe‚ beat Mali 2-1 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.
Goals from Dean Furman and Themba Zwane enabled Ntseki to start his journey as Bafana head coach on a good note. Striker Sekou Koita scored the consolation for the visitors.
Bafana's next match will be an away Afcon qualifier against the Black Stars on November 14.
“We are not just playing teams in our group to qualify. We have raised the bar to say we want to win the group‚” the coach said.
“Winning the group means every game we play is important because we cannot drop points. If you drop points you will be worried more of not winning the group.
“If we win the group that will also help us in terms of the Caf and Fifa rankings.”
A delighted Ntseki said there is a positive attitude in the squad but he added that there are no small or big teams in their group.
“We are all competing for the three points to qualify and win the group‚" he said.
"I am happy that we won on Sunday because if you do things right it builds up the confidence of the players.”
Ntseki said ahead of the Mali match the players' performances would help him decide on the squad for the Afcon qualifiers.
“I have been profiling the players for almost two years‚ working under the different coaches‚" the former Bafana assistant coach revealed.
“So‚ if we look at it I have known them for some time.
"I know their qualities and I know which areas of the game they need to improve on.
“The ones that we called up for this camp were fully aware that these are the type of players that we want to bring to the team because it was a combination of skill‚ character and physical ability.
“When it comes to the next selection‚ it will again be based on who is available‚ who is injury-free and who is on top of their game.
"We will profile them in relation to the game we are to play against Ghana.
The coach applauded the Eastern Cape for their warmth and support during their stay in Port Elizabeth.
“The people of the Eastern Cape are warm and supportive‚" he said.
"We really felt at home. We really appreciate the support they gave us.
“All of this ended up with a win for the team because the team stayed positive and motivated.”