JOHANNESBURG – Bafana Bafana will have to collect all six points from their home and away African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Seychelles in October if they hope to be a part of the continental showpiece in Cameroon next year.
This is the view of national team skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo.
“The games against Seychelles (at home on October 10 and away three days later) are do-or-die for us,” says the Bafana Bafana captain and central defender Hlatshwayo, after reflecting on Saturday's goalless draw against Libya in Durban.
“Nigeria beat Seychelles at the weekend so they are no breathing down our necks on the points table so we need all six points off Seychelles before we host Nigeria and face Libya away in our remaining qualifiers,” added Hlatshwayo, who plays his club football for PSL side, Bidvest Wits.
One of the positive points to come out of Saturday's match against Libya in Durban was the fact that the South African defence held well and now have two clean sheets in as many AFCON qualifier games after their 2-0 group first round away win over Nigeria.
“Libya came to South Africa looking for a draw as could be seen by how deep they played,” continued Hlatshwayo. “In the build-up to the match, we practised against such a style of play against Amazulu and we got it right there, but not in the match situation against Libya. Defensively we are solid but against Libya, we didn't really create enough goal-scoring chances.”
“At the back, we did well against the tall Libyan strikers, so I am happy from a defensive perspective,” said the Bafana Bafana skipper. “Let's take the point and move forward.”
Libya now head Group E on goal average over Bafana Bafana, with both teams having 4 points from 2 games. Nigeria are in third spot one point adrift having played the same amount of matches.
African News Agency (ANA)