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Libya v South Africa

Thulani Hlatshwayo: Bafana Bafana growing in mental strength ahead of Libya clash

14:24 EAT 19/03/2019
Thulani Hlatshwayo Bafana Bafana v Libya, September 2018
The Soweto-born defender is confident that they can keep a clean sheet in Sfax against their North African counterparts

South Africa captain Thulani 'Tyson' Hlatshwayo says they are mentally strong ahead of their crucial 2019 Caf African Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya on Sunday.

Bafana Bafana are looking to avoid a defeat in order to qualify for this year’s continental tournament which will be hosted by Egypt between June and July.

“The pressure will always be there, not only at Bafana but also in your personal life and at your team,” Hlatshwayo told IOL.

“There will be pressure on us because this is a crucial game, even though we know that we need either a draw or a win,” he continued.

The match will be staged in Tunisia on Sunday at the Stade Taieb Mhiri.

“I remember reading in the papers that they took a long time to tell us the venue for this match, that was probably mind games,” continued the Bidvest Wits defender.

“It’s something that we have to consider as players, and not let it affect us as players because we have a lot of experienced players around the team who have played in tough environments in Africa so we should deal with this,” he said.

Moreover, Hlatshwayo stated that they have matured as a team and they will work hard to secure the desired result.

“As a team, we are growing in mental strength. I feel like this is one of the strongest Bafana so far. I can see it even when we defend, we defend as a unit,” said the former Ajax Cape Town central defender.

“We work together, even the goal we conceded was an own goal. That’s what we want to build on. The main goal is to keep a clean sheet,” concluded Hlatshwayo.