The Thulani Hlatshwayo-captained side face a deciding fixture against opponents who had an extra day of training
South Africa coach Molefi Ntseki says he was surprised Sudan had to play their penultimate Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe on Wednesday, a day before Bafana Bafana hosted Ghana. The coach has questioned Caf’s scheduling of fixtures, saying he expected all Group C games to be played simultaneously. A similar situation was witnessed in the reverse fixture when Sudan had an extra day of training after hosting Sao Tome ahead of their trip to South Africa.
“And the expectation was for the four teams to play on the same day‚ at the same time‚ but we were very surprised to
be told that Sudan played their game on Wednesday. And we are still to face the same situation‚ like what happened
in the first leg,” said Ntseki as per Sowetan Live. “In the first leg they played on the Wednesday against Sao Tome‚ and flew into South Africa that night. We had to play Ghana in Ghana on Thursday‚ drive through the night to the airport‚ fly to South Africa and arrive in the evening on Friday‚ one training session [on the Saturday] to prepare and then play Sudan on the Sunday. “So it’s a repeat. But being a repeat it has made us much stronger‚ because this is a situation that we can’t do anything about. And the team is looking forward to going to Sudan and doing everybody proud.” Bafana Bafana are in Sudan for their final group game needing at least a draw to seal qualification for the Afcon finals to be hosted by Cameroon in January next year.
This is after Ntseki’s men were held 1-1 by Ghana on Thursday at home. The Black Stars lead the Group C standings with 10 points, while South Africa are second with the same number of points and Sudan are placed third with a point less. “They [Sudan] have got the points and currently we have South Africa at 10‚ Sudan at nine and Ghana at 10. So I think the group is still very much open. And Sudan playing at home will always fancy their chances of winning and qualifying‚” Ntseki said. “But I think from our assessment and analysis of Sudan and the players who we have in camp we are capable of doing well and qualifying in Sudan. We are aware that Sudan won‚ and we have the clips of how they won the game.” Group anchors Sao Tome have lost all their qualifying games and are in Ghana for their final match.
Source : goal.com