South Africa host Liberia in Group K of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to be staged at the Orlando Stadium on Friday.
It is a crucial fixture for either team considering the fact that they have already lost their first game against current league leaders Morocco who are already through to the finals to be held in Ivory Coast.
Coach Hugo Broos should fancy his chances of winning the tie owing to a rich and diverse options he has in the attacking department - from young Cassius Mailula who has been on song for Mamelodi Sundowns, to the experienced Al Ahly star Percy Tau.
However, it will not be an easy outing against Liberia who are aware a win away and a draw at home will be enough to see them through.
|Game||South Africa vs Liberia|
|Date||Friday, March 24|
|Time||18:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App||SuperSport TV's PSL channel 202|
Squads & Team NewsBackpagepix
Coach Broos might be attempted to give Downs youngster Mailula his debut owing to his excellent exploits at club level.
The 21-year-old has 15 goals and three assists for Masandawana and could not hide his joy after getting a deserved Bafana Bafana call-up.
"For me, it came as a surprise because I didn't expect to pop up so early," Mailula said after making the final squad.
"I thought that I would be actually in the U23 [team], but it was good that someone out there can see my hard work.
"I was actually happy, so excited, and ready to also make it to the 23-man squad. They say dreams do come true; for me, it is always been something that I wanted. I think it could have happened earlier because they always took me back to the junior teams to keep on pushing myself. I think it came at the right time, at the right space where I was feeling good about myself and where everything is just ok.
"Emotionally, physically, and psychologically I was actually ready for this challenge."
It will be interesting to see how Broos will start on Friday evening.
Bafana defenders will have to do everything possible to ensure Allen Njie does not get space to roam freely in the final third. The creative midfielder has an eye for goal and can also create something from nothing which might hurt the home team in the long run.
Left-back Jamal Arago is another player to keep an eye on. An overlapping fullback with dangerous crosses as seen in their last match against Morocco.
Bafana lost to Morocco 2-1 in the group opener which puts them in the second position ahead of Liberia who fell 2-0 against the Atlas Lions.
As it stands, South Africa need four points from Liberia matches to seal their place in Ivory Coast.
If Bafana achieve the aforementioned fete, the Lone Stars will remain with just a point. Suppose Broos' team lose against the Atlas Lions at home and Liberia win away, Morocco will win the group with nine points with the two members managing four points each.
However, Bafana will qualify by virtue of getting a win and a draw against their direct rivals.
So it will be crucial for South Africa to bring their 'A' game on Friday to avoid unforeseen circumstances in the future.