Bafana to play Lesotho before CAR game in Cameroon

Gordon Igesund has expressed his satisfaction with Fifa and Caf's decision to move Bafana Bafana's World Cup qualifier tie against Central African Republic to Cameroon
Bafana Bafana's Fifa 2014 World Cup qualification tie against the Central African Republic has been moved to Yaounde in Cameroon according to a Safa statement released on Monday afternoon.

The match, which is set to be played on June 9th this year, was moved due to security concerns in CAR resulting from the deaths of 14 South African soldiers in Bangui earlier this year and the continued political unrest in the country.

"I am happy the venue issue has finally been settled," said Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund.

"I must commend Safa, Fifa and Caf for making this happen because we lost our loved ones there not so long ago and the environment is still too tense to have a match in that country.

South Africa will have the advantage of not having to play in the tense atmosphere in CAR, which Igesund believes should help his side win the vital match.

"It would be silly of me to say that now we are playing at a neutral venue, it will favour us. It will still be a very tough match, but the advantage is, it will be away from the intimidation of the home crowd," Igesund said.

"We will definitely be having our own supporters in the stands; which is a plus for us. We played well against them in the home leg but they showed they are a formidable side, so we need to be on guard and not take things lightly.

"We should get all three points here and keep the pressure on Ethiopia who are two points ahead of us in the group. We cannot afford to lose this match."

Even though the tie will be played in neutral conditions, Igesund is aware that it will not be easy to defeat a steely CAR side and will follow Orlando Pirates' example after their triumph over TP Mazembe this weekend.

"We are going to need warriors going into those two matches and we have to be mentally strong," Igesund said.

"I believe I have those players so I am not worried. In fact, things are looking good for us.

"We have been inspired by the heroics of Orlando Pirates in Lubumbashi on Sunday. They showed a lot of character when the odds were heavily stacked against them. We should take a leaf off their book."

Bafana Bafana will travel to Maseru to play Lesotho in a warm-up match on June 1 in preparation for their World Cup qualifier against CAR eight days later.