Bafana eager to face Mali

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi strongly believes they have what it takes to beat Mali in their second match of the 2014 CHAN tournament at Cape Town Stadium tomorrow. 

Kick-off is at 5pm.

Both Mali and the host of the CHAN tournament won their opening matches 2-1 and 3-1 respectively. South Africa is leading Group A, with better goal difference.

“We are well aware of what lies ahead of us. We have been studying their videos and I am convinced we will get the better of them because we know what to expect. They are physically strong, but I am certain we will compete.

“If they go unchecked, they could be a serious threat. We know it is going to be a tough one, but we will go there very prepared because we have had two good training sessions since our match against Mozambique. From what we saw in their clash against Nigeria, Mali is, without doubt, a good team but they can be beaten,” Vilakazi said.

South Africa’s victory over Mozambique has certainly boosted the mood in the camp ahead of the important clash with Mali.

“It was important for us to get a good start and we want to build on to that. It was never a simple game. It’s never easy in a tournament like this, as everyone wants to win. We are motivated to win,” added Vilakazi.

Fellow midfielder Matthew Pattison is also upbeat after Bafana’s great performance on Saturday, 11 January.

“First of all, it’s good to be back in the national team fold. It is great to see one’s hard work rewarded. We have a new coach and new faces, so it’s nice to see a bit of variety in the team,” said Pattison, who earned his third cap against Mozambique.

“We want to get to the knockout stages and the dressing room is upbeat, but we know we can do better. We are aware that Mali players are a bit physical, but I enjoy that side of the game so I should be able to compete,” said Pattison. -