Uphill battle for Bafana to qualify

South Africa will welcome Burkina Faso in a 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg today. Kick-off is at 3pm.

TOUGH JOB: Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is feeling the pressure to reach the World Cup Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Bafana Bafana’s hopes of qualifying for the finals suffered a blow as they lost 2-1 to Cape Verde in their previous Group D match in Durban last month.

Furthermore, Fifa ordered a replay of the qualification between South Africa and Senegal held on November 12, 2016. This was after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the lifetime ban of match referee Joseph Lamptey, who was in charge of the game which was won 2-1 by Bafana in Polokwane.

As a result, South Africa are placed fourth on the group standings with one point from three matches. They are five points behind group leaders, Burkina Faso, who have played four games.

Bafana can only qualify if they win their remaining games and hope that the other results go their way.

Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter is wary of Burkina Faso, who are undefeated in Group D but the British tactician believes his side can secure a victory over the Stallions.

“Now we have got to put things right against Burkina Faso. Without confidence‚ I do not think that we will do that,” Baxter said.

Bafana will be without central defenders Erick Mathoho (supension) and Thulani Hlatshwayo (injured) and Baxter has called up Clayton Daniels and Motjeka Madisha as their replacements. Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will captain the team in Hlatshwayo’s absence.

 

 

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