JOHANNESBURG — South Africa will head to Limbe in search of a win over heavyweights and Group M leaders Cameroon in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers tomorrow.
Kick-off at the Limbe Omnisports Stadium is set for 4:30pm CAT.
Bafana Bafana head into the match having claimed just one point from their opening two qualifiers, after being held to a goalless draw at home by Gambia before suffering an embarrassing 3-1 defeat away to Mauritania.
The Indomitable Lions, in contrast, top the pool with two wins from two: 1-0 at home to Mauritania and 1-0 away to Gambia.
This effectively means that SA’s hopes of qualifying will depend on them claiming back-to-back wins over the West Africans in the teams’ two meetings.
This match will be the first in charge for Cameroon’s new Belgian coach Hugo Broos, who was a surprise pick for the post and will be looking to make a good impression on home soil.
“We will put the team on the ground, be ready, and will fight to the last minute. Then we’ll see, this is football,” said Broos of the match against South Africa.
“South Africa also has its weaknesses. We’ll see which team will capitalise on the weaknesses of the other.” Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has acknowledged that the Cameroon matches are vital for his team as far as reaching Gabon 2017 is concerned.
“These two matches are almost a make-or-break for us. If we want to resurrect our campaign, these are the matches that we will have to do well in,” said Mashaba.
“We have to put up a fight as though our lives depend on these matches. I believe we have selected a strong team that will deliver,” he added. The good news for South Africa is that they have a strong record against Cameroon, with three wins and just one loss from six official matches between the teams.
However, the most recent meeting was way back in 2008 (a 3-2 win for SA in that year’s Nelson Mandela Challenge match) and all six encounters have been played on South African soil; Bafana Bafana have never played the Indomitable Lions in their own backyard.
Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will take charge of the match in Limbe, with the return fixture set for Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday. — SuperSport