Pretoria – Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Wayne Sandilands, is hopeful that the national squad will return victorious from their second 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier clash against Egypt.
South Africa and Egypt will battle it out at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday, 5 June.
Bafana defeated Egypt one-nil in their first leg clash at the Ellis Park Stadium in April, but Sandilands knows it will be a difficult match in Cairo.
“This upcoming match is a daunting task for any team because it is very difficult to beat Egypt in their backyard, but it is not impossible. To come back with a positive result, we have to believe in ourselves and give more than one hundred percent.
“The good thing is that we have played them before so we know what to do. In 2008, I went to Cairo in the CAF Champions League competition with Platinum Stars where we played against Al Ahly and lost 2-nil, so I know what to expect. We just have to focus on the task and mission at hand,” he said.
Sandilands earned his first Bafana cap in the international friendly match against Tanzania almost two weeks ago.
Striker Bernard Parker is also equally optimistic that as a team, Bafana Bafana is confident of returning home victorious.
“As one of the senior players in the team, I have to guide the youngsters because away games are not very easy. But we did well against Tanzania and I believe we can continue from where we left off. The difference here is that Egypt will be desperate for victory because any other result will not be in their favour.
“We have been together for a long time as a team and we now know each other, and that should be an advantage to us. A win against the Pharaohs will make our confidence sky rocket and bring us even closer to qualification.
“The first match was very difficult and we not expecting things to be any different but we are optimistic,” said Parker.
The South Africans have set up camp at the Royal Marang Sports Complex in Phokeng in the North West province.
On Tuesday morning, the players were taken through their paces in the gymnasium.
Striker Lehlohonolo Majoro has joined the squad as replacement for Kermit Erasmus, who was withdrawn from the team as he will be attending trials in Europe. – Nthambeleni Gabara, BuaNews