Shaun Bartlett warns Bafana to brace for a tough game against Ghana
Former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett remembers the goal he scored against Ghana in the semifinals of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations as if it was yesterday.
The erstwhile marksman's 46th minute strike was sandwiched between the late John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu’s brilliant brace and the comfortable 3-0 final score set up a famous date with Tunisia in the final.
Bafana would go on to win the continental showpiece 2-0 through a brace from Mark Williams in front of a packed FNB Stadium.
“1996 was absolutely awesome for me and my career as it catapulted me to another level‚” Bartlett told TimesLIVE on Thursday.
The then 23-year-old Bartlett said he was not even supposed to start the semifinal match against Ghana.
“When I was given the opportunity to play against Ghana in the semifinal‚ due to the late Phil Masinga’s injury‚ I had to grab it in order to have a chance of playing in the final‚” said Bartett‚ who is now assistant coach to Ernst Middendorp at the high-flying Kaizer Chiefs.
“Scoring that goal just after halftime was the big icing. Playing for my country was always an honour and I took a lot of pride in representing Bafana Bafana.”
Barlett was still earning a living at Cape Town Spurs during the Cup of Nations but would go on to play for a number of teams abroad‚ including a long spell at Charlton Athletic in the English premiership.
He played 74 matches for Bafana and his 28 goals are the second highest behind top scorer Benni McCrthy (31).
Bafana face the selfsame Ghana in a Group C 2021 Afcon qualifier at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Ghana on Thursday nights.
Bartlett said it would not be an easy outing for Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki in his first official game in charge since taking over from Briton Stuart Baxter in September.
“Without a doubt it will be a tough game‚ irrespective of the form of Ghana‚” said the 47-year old Cape Town-born Bartlett.
“It’s a home game for them and they will give their best and fight for everything.
“The consolation for us is that we’ve had some good results away from home recently and that confidence will help the players.”
Bafana’s previous results against Ghana
* 26 November 1996 Bafana 2 Ghana 1 – Friendly
* 31 January 1996 Bafana 3 Ghana 0 – Afcon
* 21 September 1996 Bafana 0 Ghana o – Friendly
* 6 February 2000 Ghana 0 Bafana 1 – Afcon
* 24 January 2002 Ghana 0 Bafana 0 – Afcon
* 20 June 2004 Ghana 3 Bafana 0 – WC qualifier
* 18 June 2005 Bafana 0 Ghana 2 – WC qualifier
* 15 October 2008 Bafana 1 Ghana 1 – Friendly
* 11 August 2010 Bafana 1 Ghana 0 - Friendly
* 27 January 2015 Bafana 1 Ghana 2 – Afcon
* 11 October 2016 Bafana 1 Ghana 1 – Friendly
* 15 June 2019 Ghana 0 Bafana 0 – Friendly