Kermit Erasmus during Bafana training ahead of Sunday’s game against Mali. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

PORT ELIZABETH – An invigorated Kermit Erasmus could prove to be Bafana Bafana's most potent weapon in their Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Mali at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The Cape Town City and Bafana marksman revealed yesterday that playing in front of his family is a major tonic that boosts his performance.

The striker is in red hot form at his club and has netted five times in eight league outings this season and now hopes this rich scoring vein will continue when the national team takes on the West African country at 3pm on Sunday.

“My parents don’t get to see me playing live. It is a great opportunity for my cousins, friends and aunt to see me in national colours. I’m happy that it is here.

“It is not often where I get to play in my home town. I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday and we will do our best to keep the cup home,” the PE-born Erasmus told journalists at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday.

Erasmus was raised in the Eastern Cape city but has spent more years outside the province because of football commitments.

The 29-year-old burst onto the domestic pro soccer scene in the colours of SuperSport United in 2008. At Matsatsantsa a Pitori he didn’t last long.

The following season, Erasmus was transferred to Feyenoord in Netherlands but returned to South Africa in 2010 for his second spell with the Pretoria outfit.

After three years, he joined Orlando Pirates before returning abroad to play in France in 2016. Erasmus is now based in Cape Town where he plays for Cape Town City.

Erasmus indicated he is determined to ensure that Bafana stretch their unbeaten run in the Mandela Challenge competition. They haven’t lost since 2013.

Bafana drew 1-1 with Chippa United in a warm-up outing yesterday where Erasmus had come on as a second half substitute and made an instant impact.

“The coach wants us to believe in our style and the system of play. That’s what he has been emphasising ever since we’ve gathered. He wants us to create our own identity,” Erasmus added.

Kermit Erasmus, centre, with Bafana team-mates Keagan Dolly and Dean Furman during a training session. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Erasmus’ remarks about what Ntseki is expecting from his men were evident in how Bafana approached the game against Chippa, a Premiership side based in PE.

They looked keen on building from the back and keeping possession while using speed on the wings with more emphasis on attacks with full-backs. The other aspect they appeared to be focussing on was to capitalise on set plays.

Ntseki recently took over the reins from Stuart Baxter who resigned after the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

“The game against Mali is a preparation for the Ghana game. We know that Mali are a big and physical team just like Ghana. That’s how West African teams are. It is going to be an interesting challenge but we look forward to it.

“We are prepared for this game but not only this game but for other matches to come,” Erasmus said.

@Minenhlecr7

 

The Mercury

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