22 January 2013

South Africa: Bafana Vow Not to Bow Out of Afcon Group Stage

Pretoria — Bafana Bafana players believe they still have what it takes to proceed to the second round of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Bafana defender, Anele Ngcongca said: "We are looking forward to Wednesday's game. All the teams in our group are good and Angola is no different; they have a lot of experience.

"We learnt from the past match that we have to be more patient, a bit more attractive going forward and try to create some chances so we can score goals. We kept a clean sheet and we are all positive about the next match. Nothing else matters. (sic)"

His views were echoed by sensational midfielder Thulani Serero: "I am not 100 percent fit, but I am getting there with every match. Angola is a very strong side. We watched them on television and they are really an enterprising side. But I believe the time has come to go there on Wednesday and get maximum points.

"We need to get the momentum going. A win will be good for the spirit and can change everything. It is critical that we start scoring those goals.

"Everyone needs to be composed and play their normal game. One thing we learnt from the Cape Verde match is to be patient."

Striker "Killer" Mphela said it was imperative for the national team to show character. "At international level you need to keep trying, have a big heart and a strong mentality, more so because we are playing teams who have loads of experience.

"A perfect example was the Group B match between Niger and Mali. The latter kept on going and eventually scored. So that is what we need to do. Just keep on working hard.

"It is not long that I have returned from injury and I am working on my fitness which is looking very good. If I am picked to start against Angola, I think I am more than ready to do the business.

"We didn't do well in our first game, and hopefully, I will get a chance to score some goals so we can better our chances of proceeding to the next round. We have quality strikers in the team and I believe we will do well."

Bafana Bafana will have their last training session at the match venue today at 4:30pm before tackling Angola on Wednesday.

The 29th edition of the tournament kicked off on Saturday, 19 January and will come to the end on Sunday, 10 February when the finals are contested.

Bafana Bafana played to a goalless draw against Cape Verde Islands in the opening match on Saturday, meanwhile another Group B between Angola and Morocco also ended with a goalless draw.

South Africa takes on Angola on Wednesday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in their second encounter of the tournament at 5pm, while Cape Verde will play against Morocco at 8pm at the same venue.

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