DURBAN – Former Bafana Bafana forward Siyabonga “Bhele” Nomvethe is confident Stuart Baxter and his troops can erase the bad memories of 2006 in this year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.
Bafana endured turbulent times in 2006 when the Afcon was hosted by Egypt, who went on to be champions that year.
Nomvethe was in the squad that stumbled in 2006 when they failed to even notch up a single goal. They suffered three defeats at the hands of Guinea, Tunisia and Zambia.
Bafana are grouped against Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia in this year’s edition and the legendary Nomvethe is confident that what occurred in 2006 won’t happen in 2019.
“It wasn’t a great tournament for us. We had a good team but luck was not on our side. We were also not at our best. We took things for granted. Guinea and Zambia were not giants and we thought it was going to be easy against them but they surprised us. So, this current crop of players can’t do that. They should go out there and give their all. For now their main target should be the last 16 of the competition,” Nomvethe said.
Bafana have enormous experience in their arsenal. The likes of Hlompo Kekana, Themba Zwane, Tiyani Mabunda, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Dean Furman and Lebohang Maboe have done well with their respective teams in continental competitions.
The trio of Mabunda, Kekana and Zwane all helped Mamelodi Sundowns to capture the CAF Champions League crown, while Furman helped SuperSport United to the final of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2017 when they were beaten by TP Mazembe. That experience might come in handy in this Afcon.
“It is important for our players to treat every match equally. They will be making a huge mistake if they think they can get draws against Ivory Coast and Morocco and hope to beat Namibia. That will be dangerous.
There are no easy teams in international football. I think we will make it into the last 16. We have a strong squad with good players who are highly experienced,” Nomvethe added.@Minenhlecr7