Bafana to take on Poland, Kenya
27 September 2012
The South African Football Association has confirmed two international friendly matches for Bafana Bafana in October. They will face Poland on 12 October, followed by a clash with Kenya on 16 October. Both matches will be played away from home.
Bafana, ranked 74th in the latest Fifa world rankings, depart for Poland on 8 October, which will give the team a few days to adapt to the cold weather in the East European country. They then leave for Nairobi on 13 October, the day after their clash with the 56th-ranked Poles.
Coach Gordon Igesund will have two days to prepare his charges for the clash against Kenya, ranked 125th by Fifa. He says he is looking forward to the two matches as he goes about preparing his squad for the 2013 African Cup of Nations (Afcon), which kicks off in South Africa on 19 January.
'The best option'
Previously, there had been some uncertainty about the game against Poland, but Igesund explained why the match was now on: "Initially I felt it was prudent to play African opposition, considering we will be playing in the Afcon tournament in four months' time. But after seeing the opposition available, I decided Poland was the best option," he said.
"Most of the top African teams are involved in the 2013 Afcon qualifiers. Therefore we had no tough opponents to play against. We need to play strong opposition so we can be tested thoroughly. Therefore, after considering all options which we had, I have no doubt in my mind that Poland will give us the test that we require."
Igesund added: "We even considered Egypt, which is already out of the 2013 Afcon qualifiers, but they are on tour in the United Arab Emirates. They could have been great opposition for us.
'We are not afraid to lose'
"We are not afraid to lose. That is why we don't need to play weak opposition. We need to be challenged so we can see where we are. If any of the top African teams were available then it would have been a different ballgame altogether," he said.
Igesund has made an encouraging start as coach of Bafana Bafana. Since he took over from Pitso Mosimane, the national team has played two internationals against Brazil and Mozambique, losing 1-0 to the 2014 Fifa World Cup hosts in Sao Paolo and winning 2-0 against the Mambas.
Earlier this month, Igesund said in an interview with the South African Football Association about the 2013 Afcon tournament: "I think at the moment, there is a great vibe in the country regarding our national team, and I know when this national team goes into the field and there are 60 000 people blowing their vuvuzelas and truly supporting the players and getting behind the team, we will be very difficult to beat.
"If the boys continue with the positive attitude, we really can go places, including conquering Africa, of course."
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