SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

15 January 2013

South Africa: Bafana 'Will Surprise Us' - Masinga

Photo: Buanews
South African soccer fans.

Bafana Bafana will silence their critics with a win in their opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) against tournament debutants Cape Verde on Saturday, says former Bafana striker Philemon Masinga.

"This tournament is not going to be easy since there are no longer smaller teams, and with us being regarded as underdogs because of the national team's failure to win games, I believe there would be a lot of surprises during the tournament," Masinga told SAnews on Tuesday.

"It is important for our national team to win their first group stage match as this will boost their confidence to win the remaining games, so I strongly believe that the national team will surprise us by winning their opening match on Saturday," he said.

The former Bafana striker was speaking to SAnews during an Afcon mobilisation campaign at Olympia stadium in Rustenburg.

In the morning, an open bus with the class of 1996 Bafana players, Rustenburg football legends and Platinum Stars players visited the Waterfall taxi rank and Phokeng plaza with the tournament's mascot, Takuma.

Rustenburg is playing host to a number of Afcon group stage matches, including matches involving tournament favourites Ivory Coast, Togo, Algeria and Tunisia.

While Bafana are faced with the challenge of not scoring goals, Masinga said: "Yes this is our major problem, but the coach has been working on it, and I have no doubt on the selected strikers.

"All these strikers [Bernard Parker, Tokelo Rantie, Lehlohonolo Majoro] and our top class striker Katlego Mphela will score goals for us during this tournament. Yes, Mphela has been out of action for few months because of an injury, but this is not a player to ignore when he's available."

Masinga urged South Africans to rally behind the national team throughout the tournament.

"In 1996, we were able to win the tournament because the nation was behind us, so as South Africans let us make it easy for our national team to win this tournament for us by giving them all our support."

Bafana play their opening match against Cape Verde at Johannesburg's National Stadium at 6pm on Saturday.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 SouthAfrica.info. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Africa's Football Extravaganza Begins

South African soccer fans.

The 2013 African Cup of Nations finals get under way in Johannesburg at the weekend, and AllAfrica's coverage will again feature previews, match reports and post-match analyses ... Read more »