Hlatshwayo ready to steer Bafana's road to Afcon

Neville Khoza Journalist
Thulani Hlatshwayo will lead Bafana Bafana against Namibia and Zambia.
Thulani Hlatshwayo will lead Bafana Bafana against Namibia and Zambia.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Thulani Hlatshwayo is focused on getting results more than anything when Bafana Bafana play Namibia and Zambia in back-to-back international friendly matches.

Bafana are set to return to the field for the first time this year on Thursday against Namibia and Zambia on Sunday, with both matches at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Coach Molefi Ntseki will be using these two matches as part of their preparations for their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe next month.

“It is results that we are looking forward to, and we know how important they are. We’ve faced both teams before,” Hlatshwayo told Safa media yesterday.

“We know what kind of a national team they are and it is important for us to get positive results as we prepare for Sao Tome and Principe back-to-back next month.”

Bafana’s last match was in November last year, a 1-0 home win against Sudan in an Afcon qualifier, and Hlatshwayo can’t wait to lead the team again on Thursday.

“It is always great to be back in the national team knowing very well that we’ve already started this journey to qualify for the next Afcon. It is good to see the guys also even though we met during the bubble [Premier Soccer League] and everything.”

Meanwhile, striker Kermit Erasmus is looking to translate his club form to the national team.

Erasmus was impressive during the bubble with his former team Cape Town City and finished the season with 13 goals.

He wants to show the same performance for the national team against Namibia and Zambia.

“Hopefully, I can continue doing that [scoring goals] for the national team as well. It can rub off from the club to the team and hopefully I can contribute positively,” Erasmus said.

“I’m excited to be part of Bafana Bafana again after such a long time because of the virus. We just have to adapt to it and hopefully display a good performance and get good results.

“It’s been exciting [to be back] seeing that we have a challenge with the virus but it’s good to see everybody in the camp and we are looking forward to the upcoming games.”

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