Themba Zwane has been called up to the national team for the Nelson Mandela Challenge. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

PORT ELIZABETH – Themba Zwane has enjoyed enormous success with Mamelodi Sundowns on the continent and it is for that reason he wants to transfer his accomplishments at club level to Bafana Bafana.

Zwane is a vital cog in the Brazilians' set-up and has made a similar impact in the national team. He was central when Sundowns were crowned the Caf Champions League winners in 2016.

Mshishi, as he is known to his admirers in football circles, was also a central figure for Sundowns when they defeated TP Mazembe to lift the Super Cup in 2017. 

Zwane is expected to play a key role tomorrow when Bafana lock horns with Mali. The two nations will battle in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth at 3pm.

Zwane admitted that it doesn’t sit well with him that he is yet to achieve major success in the national team's colours.

“Yes, it is true that I haven’t enjoyed the same type of success that I’ve been enjoying with Sundowns and I want to change that. I believe that it is possible. We reached the quarter-finals in this year’s Afcon and we have to keep progressing until we reach the pinnacle,” Zwane explained in an interview with Independent Media yesterday.

The only major silverware that Bafana have lifted came in 1996 when they won the Afcon on home soil. Since then it’s been a rapid decline but Zwane is optimistic of bringing back those glory days.

“I also want to win something with my country. If I can do that then I’ll be a very happy man,” he added.

Zwane and Co at Sundowns have mastered the art of succeeding in the continent and he revealed the secret of the Brazilians.

“It is all about knowing your opponents very well. We do a lot research at Sundowns about our opponents. We’ve also got the ability to win games away from home but the national team is progress as far as I’m concerned,” Zwane said.

Bafana will be looking to kick off the tenure of the new coach, Molefi Ntseki, in style and stretch their unbeaten run in the Mandela Cup.

“We want to win the game on Sunday. All we need is a win so that we can boost our confidence going into the Afcon qualifiers next month."

Bafana trained yesterday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and only Lebo Mothiba didn’t feature. Percy Tau, who has also been carrying an injury, trained freely and is set to start tomorrow.

@Minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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