–Mashaba calls on his wards to raise their game tomorrow
Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has warned Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi that he must ‘brace himself for war’ ahead of their clash in Cape Town tomorrow. South Africa welcome the Super Eagles to the Cape Town Stadium in the second round of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers in midweek.
The Group A clash will see a confident Bafana take on nemesis Nigeria, who are wounded by their 3-2 opening weekend defeat to Congo-Brazzaville in Calabar.
South Africa, meanwhile, are brimming with confidence following their 3-0 win in Khartoum on Friday, but will face a different challenge all together when the Eagles land on South African soil.
Keshi’s men famously won the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa while the West Africans trounced Bafana 3-1 in the 2014 CHAN tournament at the very stadium where the two rivals will meet on Wednesday.
“This Nigeria team has been giving us nightmares, but we will fight in every game,” said Mashaba.
“We will attack and try to tame this monster in our path. But we need to show mental toughness against Nigeria, who will come at us spitting fire after their defeat to Congo.Nigeria will throw everything at us.”
“When two Elephants meet, it is grass that suffers. Watch out, brace yourself for war that day [when Mashaba meets Keshi], because, like I have indicated earlier on, they [Nigeria], have given us sleepless nights.”
Mashaba, who took over from Gordon Igesund in July, feels a win on Wednesday would change a lot of things football in South Africa for the better and has challenged his charges to psyche themselves up for one of the biggest games of their lives.
“We are ready to go to battle and it is a big one and I have told my boys to up their game.This is one time they must brace themselves for war up to the fullest, it won’t be an easy walk in the park for both teams, but what we are looking for is to come out victorious and that win will change a lot of things in our football, both in administration, media wise, any structure that you talk about,” Mashaba added.
“We win that game [and] things will change for the better.”
The Bafana Bafana mentor said the good thing about Wednesday’s game was the fact that the boys had removed pressure off themselves by winning against Sudan in Khartoum last Friday.