Bafana win a must for confidence boost

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Durban - Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar wants to win back the hearts of South Africans and says the first step is to beat Senegal in the upcoming international friendly.

Pienaar said at a press conference in Durban ahead of Wednesday's clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium: "We want to start winning games so we can boost the confidence of the nation and ourselves as well - and we believe this is the match to start changing all that."

The South African skipper is "happy to be back" and deemed the Senegal encounter "a very important match for us as it's the last one before the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers."

The match will also be used as preparation for next year's edition of the African Cup of Nations.

Most of their players were available for their first of two training sessions on Monday afternoon.

Newly appointed team doctor told the media that the team was in good physical condition. But Tsepho Masilela will be under medical observation as he has just returned from a hamstring injury layoff.
Masilela has been declared fit to continue with the camp.

Coach Pitso Mosimane said it would be a difficult game because there was pressure on Bafana Bafana.

After failing to qualify for this year's AFCON, Bafana lost to Zimbabwe 1-2 in November 2011.

"What we saw last year was not enough goals and now we want less draws. There is a lot of pressure on the team to win so this is that time when I will take a win no matter how it comes - we need a win more than good play, but that does not mean I will abandon my style of play, but we have to win."

Mosimane pointed out that Senegal played at AFCON recently and were more prepared than his charges.

"It's a good sign when we have so many players before our first training session. This helps a lot because there is not enough time in any case to prepare - so every minute counts."

Senegal, however, has had a disastrous run at the 2012 AFCON. They failed to move beyond the group stage after conceding three successive defeats to Zambia, Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

Newcastle United's top scorer Demba Ba and Moussa Sow are among the big names that will not be travelling to Durban.

South Africa's first 2014 World Cup qualifying game will take place on June 1 against Ethiopia.
They will they take on Botswana in their next 2014 World Cup qualifying game for this year on June 8.

Kick-off for the South Africa versus Senegal clash is at 8:35pm.