The national team coach believes South Africa should be holding their own against the continental big guns and wants the rankings to prove that
Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki wants to make a statement to the big guns of African football in order to earn more respect.
Ntseki was speaking in the context of the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, following South Africa‘s 2-0 win over Sao Tome e Principe at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday night.
On the score-sheet for the hosts were Percy Tau, who scored with a penalty, and Bongani Zungu, who weighed in with a 90th minute header from a Keagan Dolly corner.
The result moves Bafana to six points and keeps them in second spot in Group C, behind Ghana, who have nine points from their three matches. Sudan are third with three points.
South Africa will meet once more with Sao Tome e Principe in Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon and Ntseki wants his men to ensure they keep the pedal on the gas in order to try and keep pace with Ghana.
“So it’s not like maybe we are going to take the foot off the pedal and say‚ ‘It is their game’,” the coach was quoted saying by the Sowetan.
“It is our game‚ being in South Africa. Even if we were to play in Sao Tome it would be the same.
“Because in every game we are fully aware that we cannot just allow Ghana to run away with the group. We are also a force to be reckoned with,” he continued.
“And we can only ever get respect if we do well against teams like Ghana‚ who are No.6 in Africa‚ and we are No.13. We want to be in the top 10‚ and to do that we have to play well and win games.
“Caf and Fifa rankings are very important. It’s been some time since we’ve been out of the top 10 in Africa and the top 50 in the world.”
Bafana Bafana are ranked 72nd in the world by Fifa, while Ghana are 48th and the top African side, Senegal, are 21st.
South Africa lost their opening Group C match 2-0 to Ghana and will meet the Black Stars again in March 2021.