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All systems go for Bafana Bafana but Ghana sweat over European stars’ fitness

Arsenal's Thomas Partey is set to miss Ghana’s match against Bafana Bafana. Picture: Nic Potts/PA via Backpagepix

Arsenal's Thomas Partey is set to miss Ghana’s match against Bafana Bafana. Picture: Nic Potts/PA via Backpagepix

Published Nov 14, 2021

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Cape Town - It's all systems go as Bafana Bafana pursue their World Cup dream on Sunday night.

The South African football team face Ghana's Black Stars in the final World Cup Qualifying Group G match at the Cape Coast Stadium, in Central Ghana.

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A win or a draw will see the table-topping Bafana safely through to the final round of qualifying for the global showpiece next year.

Striker Evidence Makgopa suffered a knock at training on Saturday and is a doubtful starter. The team doctor Tshepo Molobi said the rest of the squad is fully fit for selection.

The news from the Ghana camp should lift the spirits in the SA camp. Their three internationals Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew) and Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux) have all been laid low by injury.

Coach Hugo Broos is confident his team will produce the goods on Sunday evening against Ghana.

“I believe in this team, and I know what they can do. Against Zimbabwe they did not perform as we had planned, it was scrappy, and they know it. They’ll have to do better against Ghana. We need to win well away,” said Broos.

SAFA CEO Tebogo Mothlanthe who has braved the trip with the team said, “We believe in the team, we believe that they can lead South Africa to greatness. We believe that we will be making our way to a World Cup next year. We believe it is all possible and we hope that South Africa stand with us today in this crucial encounter against the Black Stars.”

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They departed Friday morning early from OR Tambo International Airport for the trip to Ghana.

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Thirteen hours of travel to Cape Coast took its toll, in addition, the severe humidity presented with very little time to acclimatise, but against the odds, the team remain motivated to do what they came to do in Ghana.

If Bafana wins or draws against Ghana on Sunday, they will advance to the next round of qualifying. The ten Africa group winners then play in five home and away knockout matches in March 2022. Five winners then secure World Cup qualification. A loss will end the national team's hopes.

* The match is scheduled for 21:00 SA time, live on SABC 1, TelkomOne, DTT, Open View Channel 124.

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