Fans and patriots are lobbying behind the national soccer team Bafana Bafana in the lead up to their first 2015 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) clash against the No. 1 ranked team on the continent - Algeria.
City Press Sports Editor, S'bu Mseleku has high hopes for the boys:
I'm quite confident that Bafana will make us proud. We're up against the best team in Africa - the No. 1 ranked country - and of people still remember how well they performed at the World Cup. Credit to Shakes Mashaba, I think he has built quite a formidable side, since taking over in September and I think at the moment, confidence is quite high amongst the squad and they are going to give Algeria a run for their money. Any result is quite possible and I'm quite confident that Bafana will pull through.
Kick off is tonight at 9 pm Central African Time at Estadio de Mongomo, a stadium in Mongomo, a city of host country Equatorial Guinea, who were initially booted out of Afcon due to their fielding an ineligible player. When initial hosts Morocco refused to host due to fears around the Ebola outbreak, they were disqualified and Equatorial Guinea re-qualified after offering to host.
Meanwhile, South Africa's superstar striker Tokelo Rantie has been left vulnerable following a shoulder injury he suffered towards the end of November last year. Despite this, Mseleku remains hopeful around South Africa's prospects:
There are questions about him (Rantie) in terms of his levels of match fitness because of that injury. But he is our best hope, but I think there other guys that can chip in with goals - guys like Bernard Parker, the striker and we also have mid-fielders who are capable of scoring; people like Reneilwe Letsholonyane, but he won't play in tonight's game because of suspension, but our mid-fielders are capable of chipping in goals. Also in the PSL, we've defenders coming up with goals. It is South Africa's achilles heel, goal scoring and we have to somehow address this because there were quite a few matches that ended goalless in the build up to this tournament. Shakes Mashaba has a winning mentality, since his days at Orlando Pirates and he has taken that right through his career and we might be greeting Bafana Bafana at OR Tambo Airport with the trophy!
Let's get behind our boys, South Africa, so that this face below can be the face we see coach Shakes Mashaba making at the end of the tournament, when we cue the Afcon victory dance!