FILE - Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has declared his side’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan on Sunday as a must-win match.

South Africa come into the match following a 2-0 loss to Ghana in the opening match of their campaign, while the Sudanese defeated Sao Tome e Principe 4-0 in the other Group C fixture.

Bafana and Sudan meet at Orlando Stadium in Soweto in a 3pm start.

“I have told the players that the game against Ghana is behind us, there is nothing we can do about it. Yes, we are not happy with the loss but we can’t change the result, so we have to focus on what is ahead of us – and this time it is Sudan,” said Ntseki.

“We are playing in front of our fans, we lost three points in Ghana, and now we must come out firing on all cylinders against Sudan. We need to be aggressive from the first whistle because in the qualifiers if you don’t win your home games you are as good as not making in the to the next stage. We have suffered a setback but now we need to get our campaign back on track.”

This will be the third time the two sides meet and South Africa has won both previous encounters, but Ntseki is not taking that for granted.

“Football is a funny game – if you don’t pitch up on the day you will go home empty-handed. We have to forget about the past results and work in the present,” added Ntseki.

“We have selected 25 players that we have confidence in, so there will be some changes to refreshen the team a bit as we also take into consideration that there was some heavy travel in between – for us this is a must-win, no other results will matter.”

As it stands, Bafana are in third place in the group, which is led by Sudan and followed by Ghana. Sao Tome e Principe are bottom of the table.

The hosts are ranked 71st in the world compared to Sudan’s 190th.

African News Agency (ANA)