Maboe believes understrength Bafana will win Cosafa Cup

SA squad made up of upcoming players

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Thabang Sibanyoni of South Africa score a goal pass Ncamiso Dlamini of Eswatini during the 2021 COSAFA Cup match between South Africa and Eswatini at Nelson Isaac Wolfson Stadium.
Thabang Sibanyoni of South Africa score a goal pass Ncamiso Dlamini of Eswatini during the 2021 COSAFA Cup match between South Africa and Eswatini at Nelson Isaac Wolfson Stadium.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana utility midfielder Lebohang Maboe is confident SA will win the Cosafa Cup, which is under way in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, despite using an understrength team.

After narrowly beating Botswana and Eswatini in their first two Groups A games last week, Bafana will be eager to seal qualification for the next round when they face Lesotho at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

Eswatini and SA are top of Group A with six points apiece, with Eswatini boasting a better goal difference, but having played three games so far against SA's two.

Premier Soccer League clubs’ refusal to release players, combined with Covid-19 woes, forced SA to go to the regional tournament with an improvised squad.

However, Maboe, who is one of the few experienced players in Bafana's squad, doesn’t see any problem with the squad, saying they have what it takes to clinch the Cosafa Cup.

“Names don’t play the game. It’s about the heart and it’s about how much you want it. We saw that even in the Euros [European Championship] in some of the games; it’s about how much you want it. I am positive we will win this Cosafa Cup,” Maboe told Sowetan yesterday.

“We’ve got a very good team made up of young players. We are hungry and most of us still want to make a mark in our careers. We have shown in our two games that we really mean business.”

Maboe was called up late after a number of players withdrew due to Covid-19. The Mamelodi Sundowns star is eager to impart his experience to the youngsters who are in the senior national team's camp for the first time.

“For any young player growing up, it’s a dream to play for the national team. I am looking forward to add my 2c worth of experience to help the team lift the trophy. My role is also to guide those who are here for the first time,” noted the 26-year-old.

“The most important thing is to express yourself, play with no fear. It’s a great experience being in the national team. For some of these upcoming players this is a chance to express themselves. They must use this chance to give the coaches a [selection] headache going forward.”

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