Bafana Bafana midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi believes they have what it takes to do well against Mali in the second match of the 2014 CHAN tournament currently underway in three cities – Cape Town, Mangaung and Polokwane.
South Africa faces Mali on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 at the Cape Town Stadium. Kickoff is at 17h00. Both Mali and Bafana Bafana won their opening matches - 2-1 and 3-1 respectively and are joint top of Group A with South Africa ahead on a better goal difference.
“We are well aware of what lies ahead of us. We have been studying their videos and I am convinced we will get the better of them because we know what to expect. They are physically strong but I am certain we will compete,” Vilakazi.
“If they go unchecked they could be a serious threat. We know it is going to be a tough one but we will go there very much prepared because we have had two good training sessions since our match against Mozambique. From what we saw in their clash against Nigeria, Mali is, without doubt, a good team but they can be beaten.”
South Africa’s victory over Mozambique has certainly boosted the mood in the camp ahead of the important clash with Mali.
“It was important for us to get a good start and we want to build on to that. It was never a simple game. It’s never easy in a tournament like this as everyone wants to win. We are motivated to win,” added Vilakazi.
Fellow midfielder, Matthew Pattison is also upbeat after Bafana Bafana’s performance on Saturday, 11 January 2014.
“First of all it’s good to be back in the national team fold, it is great to see one’s hard work rewarded. We have a new coach and new faces, so it’s nice to see a bit of variety in the team,” said Pattison, who earned his third cap against Mozambique.
“We want to get to the knockout stages and the dressing room is upbeat but we know we can do better. We are aware that the Mali players are a bit physical but I enjoy that side of the game so I should be able to compete,” concluded Pattison.