Bafana not under pressure to upset Pharaohs - Khune

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pretoria - South Africa's goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says the national team is not under pressure ahead of their 2012 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) match against Egypt on Saturday. 

The qualifier match will be played at Ellis Park stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is 8:05pm. 

"The players are aware of the importance of this match. We have a good side, and have been working very hard. We have players who can take care of Egypt. 

"We want to keep our number one spot and we will do anything to defend that position. We are playing at home and we are hopeful the fans will come in numbers to give us the support we need.

"I have spoken to defenders, in terms of ... who the danger men are [in the Egypt squad] and it was quite an insight which will be valuable at the match. I expect a busy day because I know they can attack the whole match, but we have prepared well for them," said Khune.

Bafana midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi believes now is the best time to defeat Egypt.

"Despite the problems in their country, they are still an experienced side. We have had a chat with the Supersport United players Kermit Erasmus and Morgan Gould, who went to Egypt last week, and they were telling us that most of the players looked a bit sluggish as they have not trained in a long time due to the recent unrest in their country. 

"Technically and tactically they are sound, but their physical conditioning is not at peak so we have to capitalise on that. 

"We have to hit them with pace and speed and ensure that they don't stand a chance against us. It's going to be difficult due to the fact that they are a good side, but they can still be beaten. But we should not focus on their problems back home and just concentrate on what we plan on doing on Saturday," he said. 

Meanwhile, Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has a full complement of players as all the selected players have now reported for national team duty, with Greece-based Bernard Parker being the last to arrive at the team's camp on Tuesday. 

Belgium-based players Anele Ngcongca, Siboniso Gaxa and Daylon Claasen arrived at the camp in Rustenburg on Monday evening.

Mosimane has given the players the morning off on Wednesday to recuperate following five days of intensive training, but the players will resume training in the afternoon.