Bafana Bafana intend to take the fight to Ghana
Bafana Bafana intend to take the fight to Ghana when they host the West Africans in a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier at FNB Stadium on Monday.
Ghana are perched at the summit of Group G after beating Ethiopia 1-0 in Cape Coast a few days ago, while the new-look Bafana were held to a 0-0 draw by Zimbabwe away from home on Friday.
National team coach Hugo Broos said it was imperative for the home side to win maximum points at home as it will be tough when they have to travel to Ghana and Ethiopia in the coming weeks.
“You know, if you want to qualify, you have to win your home games and perhaps win one match outside [away from home]," he said.
“If you can do that, you will be very, very close to achieving your objective. So we are playing at home [on Monday], we will try to win the match.
“Even if we play a draw, Ghana would have four points, the team, maybe Zimbabwe, will also have four points. We would have two points, so we are still in the running even if we play a draw.
“Every game is important.
“We can play a draw on Monday and we would still stay in the running, and this is important. Not losing on Monday is the objective and it will always be good.
Bafana vice captain Percy Tau echoed the Belgian mentor and said they would do everything in their power to win all the points against a Ghana side that has been hit by withdrawals from their squad.
Ghana, like several national teams on the continent, have been left scrambling after Premier League clubs announced a few days ago that they would not release their players for games in countries on the red-list due to quarantine rules issued by the British government.
“I agree with the coach [Broos], and we want to use the opportunity of playing at home [to our advantage]. We wanted to win against Zimbabwe but I think a draw [away from home] was also good,” Tau said.
“So if we get opportunities at home and we use them, it would be better for us going forward.”
Bafana had the better chances against Zimbabwe and with a bit of luck, they could have returned from the neighbouring country with all the points in the bag. Bongokuhle Hlongwane came the closest to breaking the deadlock as his goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by the home side.
Ghana, on the other hand, benefited from a bit of good fortune in their game after a goalkeeping error from Teklemariam Shanko gifted the West Africans the win. Shanko allowed a long-range strike from Mubarak Wakaso to slip between his legs, leading to the only goal of the match.