Bafana Bafana is READY for COSAFA Cup quarterfinal clash with Botswana at Moruleng Stadium next Sunday (3pm).
Coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba’s side returned yesterday from a whirlwind trip to Lesotho, where they played to a 0-0 and 1-1 draw with the Likoena in Maseru.
Keeper Jackson Mabokgwane assured supporters that their trip to the Mountain Kingdom was a good experience for squad heading to the regional competition. Their final preparatory fixture is against Malawi this Friday.
Mabokgwane said: “Our preparations are on track. We played without knowing each other, considering that we had only had two sessions beforehand, against a team that had been in camp for much longer than us.
“The coach knew that we had to sacrifice results and get to understand each other a bit better on our trip to Lesotho. The game against Malawi will give us a chance to rectify things and will also give an indication of who will play against Botswana.”
Bafana have injury scares in Marc van Heerden (Achilles’ tendon), Puleng Tlolane (thigh), Gift Motupa and Cole Alexander (both ankles).
Botswana have named a strong squad for the tournament, including Platinum Stars dynamo Mogakolodi Ngele as well as veterans Joel Mogorosi and Mogogi Gabonamong.
Mabokgwane also spoke glowingly of rookie Ricardo Goss, who plays for recently promoted Golden Arrows and was in goal on Saturday. He said: “Ricardo definitely has a bright future. He is tall, strong and I am convinced that we will see more of him in the future.”
Meanwhile, Mashaba lamented his side’s mistakes against Lesotho, saying: “There is still a lot of individual play and we did not combine well. We also looked like we didn’t want to commit mistakes. But I believe with time they will come out of their shells.”