Just after Bafana Bafana discovered their Group G opponents of the 2021 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in the draw that as conducted on Tuesday, former captain Aaron Mokoena believes the South Africans are set to face a daunting task en route to Qatar.
‘Mbazo’ is of the sentiment that Zimbabwe and Ethiopia both want to reach the global showpiece and will want to beat Bafana, whilst saying Ghana present a challenge for the 1996 African champions.
Moreover, Mokoena also stated that coach Molefi Ntseki is an ambitious boss and he will want to ensure Bafana reach the tournament as the country has failed to qualify in a while.
“I think it’s going to be a challenging qualification campaign with Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. There are no easy games for Bafana especially when we talk about the World Cup qualifiers,” Mokoena told Goal.
“I still remember in my days we never had an easy opponent and that is the same thing even today. I would assume everybody will want to beat Bafana.
“Ethiopia is a talented nation and they have been doing well, they definitely want to beat us. With Zimbabwe, it will be a derby because we all know their best players are in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
“They will want to beat us and I think factors such as playing here, the climate and weather conditions can suit them when we play them here.
“It’s going to be a derby against Zimbabwe, I mean most of their players are here and they understand the culture of South African football. They will definitely want to beat us and we will face challenges going to Harare.”
Speaking about the Black Stars whom Ntseki’s men have faced in last year's 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and suffered a 2-0 defeat away from home, the retired defender has called the clash a revenge encounter.
“This is one of the most challenging matches, I can probably say it is the toughest in the group because Ghana is also looking to qualify,” added the 39-year-old.
“They have not been successful in the past in terms of reaching the tournament and the current crop of Ghana faced Bafana recently. We were battered away from home - I think it’s an interesting group.
“Supposedly we have to call it a revenge match against Ghana. We lost to them away and we have to fight for a win. It is a tough draw again but we have the quality and experience to challenge for the number one spot.
“We used to do well against Ghana at home even during my days, but we only need to ensure we avoid a defeat away from home.”
Speaking about former coach Stuart Baxter’s assistant coach in Ntseki, the 2010 Fifa World Cup skipper hopes the coach will have the necessary support to ensure he leads the team to success.
“We have a new coach and he is eager to do well and lead the country to the World Cup,” he continued.
“I remember in his first interview, he said he wants to build a team that will be remembered by South Africans for many years.
"We have not qualified for the World Cup in a while and I believe he will have the necessary support and make the country’s dream come true.”