Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki has reacted to the draw for the CAF FIFA World Cup qualifiers which were conducted on Wednesday evening at the Nile Ritz-Carlton in Cairo, Egypt.
The next edition of the FIFA World Cup will be held in 2022 in Qatar.
Speaking to the Media just after the draw was concluded, Ntseki was optimistic that Bafana can make it, though he admits the group is tough.
“Firstly, we are talking World Cup Qualifiers, so this was a preliminary World Cup draw. We are in the top 40, so the expectation is for us to play so that we can qualify for the top 20 then go down to top 10 and eventually the top 5 teams which will go to Qatar in 2022.
“Every draw is a tough draw because the expectation is that all the teams that are in the top 40, they’re all playing to qualify for the World Cup. So, we are fully aware of Ghana, we are fully aware of Zimbabwe our neighbours, we’re also fully aware of Ethiopia who did well in the prelims against Lesotho to be in the top 40. So, all the teams that are in our Group, we will give them the same respect, because they deserve to be in this stage of the qualifiers,” said the Bafana mentor.
South Africa will be up against Ghana again in their World Cup group qualifier. Both teams are also in the same group (Group C) of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers and the sides already met in November 2019 in Ghana where the Black Stars won 2-0 at home courtesy of goals from Thomas Partey and Muhammed Kudus.
But Coach Ntseki welcomes the clash against the 4-time African champions.
“It’s all about the fixtures because we could’ve drawn any other team because Ghana was in the top 10 so we had to draw any team in the top 10. So, we know what to expect from Ghana, they know what to expect from us. They just appointed a new coach (Charles ‘CK’ Akonnor) and I think the team will be looking forward to impress the new coach.
“But the most important thing is that we are going to play 3 matches against Ghana (1 Afcon) qualifier at home and 2 World Cup qualifiers, home and away) so it will be a really interesting encounter against them,” concluded the Bafana Bafana head coach,” concluded Ntseki
The first qualifiers will begin during the international break in March this year, with the final matches set to be wrapped up in October next year (2021).
By Shane Matsoyane