Reyaad Pieterse says Bafana Bafana will have to be at their best to beat Madagascar. Photo: safa.net

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa and Madagascar will clash in the Cosafa Cup quarterfinal round on Sunday at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

The first time Bafana Bafana and Madagascar met was 24 years ago in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Antananarivo, and South Africa emerged victorious with an odd goal.

To date, there have been five matches between the two nations, with Bafana Bafana winning four encounters, and one match was drawn.

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse says despite the stats being in favour of his country, history counts for nothing in international football and they cannot afford to take the Malagasy lightly.

“In football every day is a new day and a new challenge so we can’t really look at history – yes, it’s good for us – but at the end of the day, they have played a few games and have been gelling so we just need to get together because Madagascar is not going to be an easy opponent and we need to be prepared for them,” said Pieterse.

“It’s going to be a really exciting game, we have prepared very well and the technical team has given us all the ammunition we need for this encounter and the players are really looking forward to this clash. 

"It’s an exciting time for us with a lot of youngsters coming through with a lot of talent, so it’s definitely looking good for the country and for Bafana Bafana ahead,” adds Pieterse.

South Africa comes into this match at the back of one practice match with an ABC Motsepe League team, while Madagascar has already played three games in the tournament, but Pieterse is not fazed even though they will be playing together for the first time in an international match.

“There could be a lot of pros and cons towards the game, but looking at how things will pan out either they will be tired or they will come out sharp, so we just need to be prepared for what they throw at us and we need to know what we have to do – that is to utilise every strength we have in the team and go through to the next round,” said Pieterse.

The winner of this clash will face Zambia in the semifinal on Wednesday, at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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