Mamelodi Sundowns winger Elias Pelembe will have a point to prove as Mozambique take on Bafana Bafana on Tuesday
Right winger Pelembe hopes to deliver a subtle message to his club coach Johan Neeskens. He has been a bit part player for Sundowns the season so far, as Neeskens suggested he had less faith in the match winning ability of the R5-million signing.
But after a scintillating weekend goal for his country, Pelembe will seek to use Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium as a stage to again prove his worth. On Sunday he scored in the final minute of the match against highly-fancied Morocco in Maputo to give Mozambique an unexpected two goal advantage going to the second leg of their final African Nations Cup qualifier.
“I think we should continue to believe in our ability and invest in the group of players we have,” he said as Mozambique turned their focus to the friendly with South Africa.
The team crossed the border at lunchtime and will have a training run on Monday night at the venue. Pelembe will be the king pin in a largely inexperienced side that has a total of only five foreign based players. Being able to dictate the pace of play will give him a chance to display his acumen.
But Pelembe suggested morale and confidence would be no problem, although he also cautioned that to consider the Mambas home and dry in the Nations Cup qualifiers was still somewhat premature.
“I think nothing is resolved. Scoring two goals was important for us and we are celebrating the win. But we must prepare properly for the return game because it will not be easy.”
Morocco host Mozambique on October 13 and must win by three goals to ensure a place at the 2013 Nations Cup finals in South Africa. Pelembe played for Mozambique when they last qualified for the finals in Angola 2010.