The Central African Republic will face South Africa in Cape Town in Saturday, with Les Fauves aiming to continue their fine start to their journey to Brazil, which saw them pull their first ever win in World Cup qualification but succumb to a defeat against Ethiopia.
A country which has not qualified for an Africa Cup of Nations or World Cup in its history, has often been viewed as a minnow in African football, but has seen a transformation in talent and possibility.
An inspiring run in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, saw Les Fauves earn an unexpected win over African powerhouse Algeria, a portrayal of the sides rise in ability.
Later in 2012 Les Fauves defied the odds once more and knocked Egypt out of 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, displaying their newfound effectiveness as a side. They could not get past eventual finalists Burkina Faso, but have shown that they are no mug on the football pitch.
Employing a physical game, backed up by the stature of their players, CAR will trouble Bafana Bafana in the aerial department and has an array of talent which has performed well over the past 18 months.
CAR possesses a young side from a variety of leagues around the world. In the striking department Le Mans youngster Hilaire Momi leads the attack with 6 goals in merely 14 appearances for the national team.
He is ably backed up by Foxi Kéthévoama, who scored both goals during CAR’s famous 2-0 win over Botswana last year.
Gabon-based Romaric Lignanzi, the highest capped player in the side, marshals the middle of the park and is supported by Vianney Mabidé who turns out for Raja Casablanca in Morocco.
Defensively CAR employs strong players. Clovis-Franklin Anzité is an experienced central defender with height and strength. The 6 ft player will be tough to muscle past and currently plays for Trat FC in Thailand. Enza-Yamissi and Salif Keita form part of a sturdy defensive unit, which may be vulnerable to Bafana Bafana’s pace.
South Africa will need to be wary of CAR in all facets of the game, as the side will aim to upset their hosts in Cape Town and has shown the potential to claim bigger scalps over the past year.