22 February 2013

South Africa: Bafana's World Cup Campaign to Resume

Bafana Bafana's "Road to Brazil" campaign resumes when Gordon Igesund's side hosts the Central Africa Republic (CAR) in a crucial Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying match at the Cape Town Stadium on 23 March.

The South African national team returns to the Mother City, where they played an international friendly match against Norway in January before a crowd of 35 000.

"As usual, the City of Cape Town is proud to host our boys as part of our unwavering commitment and support for Bafana Bafana," said City of Cape Town Executive Director, Anton Groenewald.

'A job well done'

"We want to take this opportunity to congratulate them for a job well done in the recently-ended Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, which we hosted."

Since the Africa Cup of Nations, Bafana have rocketed 25 places in the world rankings, up to 60th place. They are, however, ranked nine places below the Central African Republic (CAR).

"The determination Bafana showed in the just ended Afcon tournament confirmed that the future is bright for our football and that we are headed in the right direction," Groenewald added.

'Important encounter'

"This important encounter against the CAR is part of our continued support for Bafana. We once again expect a huge crowd like we saw in January. Let's also take this opportunity to wish head coach Gordon Igesund a fast recovery and hope he arrives here in Cape Town in fine health to proudly lead the team to victory."

Igesund recently spent five days in hospital due to appendicitis, but was released on Sunday, 17 February.

The match will be South Africa's third in their World Cup qualifying campaign following two draws against Ethiopia (1-1) and Botswana (1-1) last year. Pitso Mosimane was the coach of Bafana Bafana at the time.

"After our great showing in the Afcon 2013, we are confident Bafana Bafana will do well in the campaign to qualify for Brazil 2014," said South African Football Association President Kirsten Nematandani.

'We haven't lost'

"This by no way means we are disrespecting our opponents. We did not start our campaign well, but at the same time it must be noted that we haven't lost a match [in our qualifying campaign], which is a positive sign," he added.

"Now we need to continue from where we left off in the Afcon tournament and carry the momentum into the qualifiers.

"We return to Cape Town, where we always enjoy great support, and we urge the people of the Mother City and surrounding areas to do it again and rally behind our boys."

CURRENT STANDINGS (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points)

Ethiopia 2, 1, 1, 0, 3, 1, 4

CAR 2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 2, 3

South Africa 2, 0, 2, 0, 2, 2, 2

Botswana 2, 0, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1

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