Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman tries to close down Garry Rodrigues of Cape Verde in a World Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban has been offered with an opportunity to host another important Bafana Bafana match.

Mabhida was the host for Bafana’s last match where they succumb to a shocking 2-1 defeat against Cape Verde in a World Cup qualifier.

The iconic stadium will now host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) contest between Bafana and Libya in March 23.

Bafana commenced with a bang in the qualifiers for the Afcon. They thumped Nigeria by 2-0 in Uyo in Nigeria, which was Bafana’s first official victory against the Super Eagles in the competitive match.

The qualification campaign is for the Afcon in Cameroon in 2019.

Moses Mabhida Stadium manager Vusi Mazibuko confirmed that Bafana will return to Mabhida early next year.

“I can officially confirm that the game between Bafana Bafana and Libya will be played at Moses Mabhida in March. We are elated to host another important match for our senior national team.

“Our aim is to host two Bafana matches per football season. We have already hosted the World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde. Mabhida is all about hosting A category matches. We always strive to host big matches,” Mazibuko said.

It is safe to say that Mabhida has become Bafana Bafana’s home ground – it was also Bafana’s base during the Afcon in 2013.

They drew against Morocco and triumphed against Angola, but went on to lose against Mali in the quarter-final of the competition.

Before the Fifa World Cup in 2010, Bafana played to a 1-1 stalemate against Namibia at Mabhida in a friendly match.

Bafana also drew 0-0 against Senegal at Moses Mabhida in 2012 in another friendly match. In 2013, they thumped Botswana 4-1 in a dead-rubber World Cup qualifier, and Bafana returned to Moses Mabhida in 2013, where they lost 2-0 against Nigeria in the Mandela Challenge.

Mabhida hosted two Bafana matches in 2014, rolling past Sudan 2-1 in the Afcon qualifier. Bafana also drew 0-0 with Gambia in the World Cup qualifier in Durban during the same year.

Last year, the Afcon qualifier between Bafana and Cameroon was played in Moses Mabhida Stadium and ended in a draw. During the same year, Bafana hosted Senegal in an international friendly, drawing 1-1.

This year they have already visited Durban twice.  They emerged victorious against Guinea Bissau in an international friendly and recently lost 2-1 to Cape Verde.

The game against Libya is a must-win match for Bafana if they want to enhance their chances of booking a spot in Cameroon in 2019. They are tied with Libya on three points.

Libya were rampant against Seychelles as they hammered them 5-1 in their opening match. 

Only two teams will progress in to Cameroon in this group. Bafana missed out on the last edition of the Afcon in Gabon in January.

Their chances of going to Russia next year are already in jeopardy after losing twice to Cape Verde. This was followed by the news that their game against Senegal, where they won 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, will be replayed.

The South African Football Association decided against appealing the decision by Fifa. Bafana are currently sitting on a single point from three matches. 

 

IOL Sport