Soccer News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015
South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba is reading little into the fact that Bafana Bafana have never lost to Ghana in an Africa Cup of Nations match on Tuesday night.
The two nations meet tonight in Mongomo, with a place in the quarter-finals of the CAF event up for grabs. Bafana – who dispatched the Black Stars 3-0 en route to their 1996 Afcon triumph – need to beat the four-time continental champions, and hope that Senegal defeat Algeria to ensure they advance.
Mashaba, who made four team changes for the final Group C tie, said: “No we are not going to entertain that [Bafana’s Afcon record against Ghana], don’t forget that in everyone’s life there is a first time, so this might be their first time they beat us.
“Secondly, football is not like arithmetic where you talk about, therefore, yes it has been said that the nation that doesn’t know their background will perish.
“We know they haven’t beaten us, but we are living in the current and swallowed by the moment and it will be a good thing to maintain that record that Ghana hasn’t beaten us.”
Mashaba expects the encounter to be a cagey affair given the high stakes.
“It is going to be a game full of caution, it is not a kind of game where you throw everything at the other team and remain vulnerable at the back. But it is going to be an interesting game, it is going to be an end to end game because they will want to score and we will want to score.
“The one who scores first will become comfortable, with the pressure decreasing but both teams will be looking at scoring early.
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“We have respect for Ghana. For them to be here means they worked hard and they are a good side, they deserve to be here. We will give them the respect they deserve but come 90 minutes we will lose respect for each other and see who is going to come out tops.”