Tovey: Bafana Can Bring Hope Back to Mzansi
Bafana Bafana legend Neil Tovey feels the new-look squad has the chance to restore the faith of the nation but sent out a warning ahead of their final two group stage 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
South Africa have the chance to progress to the play-offs of Africa’s World Cup qualifiers, where a two-legged clash will determine who progresses to Qatar 2022.
With a two-point lead over Ghana with the Zimbabwe and Black Stars clashes remaining, Hugo Broos’ side has their fate in their own hands – with four points guaranteeing them their place in the next round.
Tovey, who won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations as captain of the national team and was their most recent Technical Director at the South African Football Association feels the results of late under Broos means they are moving in the right direction under his guidance.
“Improvement can only come from results and that’s what they’ve been getting,” Tovey tells iDiski Times.
“Obviously it’s not done and dusted, this week is a vital one for the national team, it will bring some great hope this week if we can qualify for the next stage of the World Cup qualification process.
“To answer your question, they have been getting results and getting results at home. It’s been so vital to us. In the past when we haven’t qualified or been consistent it’s because we gave away points at home.
“You have to win your home matches – generally in your group of four you have three home matches and you got to have nine out nine points.”
With three wins and a draw and only one goal conceded in the four games played thus far, Broos joked that he hopes Ghana will slip up when they face Ethiopia at Orlando Stadium so they can enjoy a ‘holiday’ in West Africa and Tovey believes that a win over the Warriors on Thursday will give them the confidence they need to finish off the job.
“It’s a really good foundation of nine points and you’re denying the opposition the full points away from home – it’s vital that happens and that’s what they have been doing. Let’s hope this progresses on to Zimbabwe because then they lay a foundation that qualification is in their own hands when they travel to Ghana,” he said before adding that there have been occasions there they have let themselves down.
“There’s been moments when I’ve really been impressed with their game and there have been moments when I can’t believe it’s the same team on the pitch. For example, the game against Ethiopia, for them to come here and dominate the match as they did, they can’t allow that to happen against Ghana or Zimbabwe.
“Ethiopia in our own ground at FNB Stadium were dominating us, so there are aspects… but on the other side, the taking of chances [for Bafana] has been wonderful. So we have to get that dominance back, when we go ahead at home and make the opposition think jeez this is a fortress, we’re getting nothing here today – that’s got to come about.”
South Africa face Norman Mapeza’s side at FNB Stadium on Thursday evening (21h00) – before the challenge of the potential Group G decider at the Cape Coast Stadium three days later.