Carnival atmosphere at Bafana match

Sunday, January 27, 2013

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Durban - Bafana Bafana midfielder, May Mahlangu says South African fans should expect a carnival atmosphere when the national team face Morocco later this evening at the gigantic Moses Mabhida stadium.

Bafana will play their last Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) group stage match against the North Africans at the magnificent stadium at 7pm.

"The sold out sign shows that people have seen what we are capable of and they believe in us. As a team we can only say thank you very much, and they must continue supporting us because they are a driving force behind us.

"Again, the sold out has set a tone for another carnival atmosphere later this evening.
"We are playing at home and it's inspiring as a player when you see so much support for the team, even when we are down. They really motivate us not to give up; it's a privilege to have them on our side," he said.

Bafana has been playing in front of huge crowds in their last two matches against Cape Verde and Angola in Johannesburg and Durban respectively.

Mahlangu who kept on hailing the South African supporters for rallying behind the national team since the start of the tournament said he was impressed by their unwavering support.

Bafana Bafana and Morocco have met three times before with the host nation winning on two occasions and drawing the other match all the clashes being in the Afcon tourney.

South Africa beat Morocco 2-1 in a 1998 quarter-final match in Burkina Faso where they went on to finish as runners up.

Four years later they met in the group stages in Mali, Bafana Bafana overcoming the North Africans 3-1.

In 2004, they met in Tunisia in another group stages match which ended in a 1-all stalemate.

Mahlangu who played well in the previous game against Angola, said he was enjoying himself, adding that all they want to do as players is to repay the coach by playing good football to making the country proud.

Asked about their opponents Morocco, maestro midfielder said: "They are very good side and have a good football history, they are very organised, but we will do our best to unlock them and try to score goals.

"I believe we are ready for them. It is going to be very important for us to go out there and play good football. We are confident enough that we can do well against them."

Asked how far South Africa can go on the tournament, Mahlangu said: "Let us not look too far but take each game as it comes. The target now is to reach the quarter-finals and after that anything can happen.

"We are confident that we can go far, we just have to be positive and see where we end up. Like I said, anything is possible if you keep working hard, if you keep pushing yourself to reach greater heights, nothing can stop you.

"For all us as players, there's no greater motivation than playing for your country and that makes you want to work even harder."

When Bafana who are leading group A with four points will be playing against Morocco, another group A match will be underway at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium between Cape Verde and Angola. -


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