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Thulani Hlatshwayo: Proteas and Banyana Banyana results have put more pressure on Bafana Bafana

15:39 BST 04/06/2019
Thulani Hlatshwayo Bafana Bafana v Libya, September 2018
The Bidvest Wits skipper stated that it is time for the national team to get up and deliver at the highly-anticipated tournament

South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has admitted that they are under pressure ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The experienced defender is part of Bafana Bafana's 30-man provisional squad for the continental tournament which will be hosted by Egypt.

South African sporting sides have experienced disappointing results of late, which has only increased the burden of expectation on Bafana ahead of the event.  

While 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup-bound Banyana Banyana lost 7-2 to Norway in a friendly match, the Proteas lost their first two matches at the ongoing cricket World Cup, and a youthful Bafana side were stunned by Botswana in the Cosafa Cup quarter-final clash.

“The first camp has started well. Yes, we’ve seen the Cosafa Cup results, the cricket team and Banyana Banyana (7-2 loss Norway) results at the weekend," Hlatshwayo told Daily Sun.

“It does raise the stakes for us and we will make sure we are well-prepared for later this month. There is always pressure."

Hlatshwayo has been part of the Bafana fold since 2013 and he was part of the team's two failed Fifa World Cup qualifying campaigns.

The 29-year-old and his South Africa teammates also failed to advance to the knockout stages at their last Afcon finals in 2015, but Hlatshwayo feels that they have learned from these experiences.

“It’s never easy bouncing back from a disappointment. Yet it’s not about how hard you fall. It is how you get back up," the Soweto-born player added.

"They say you are as good as your last game. You just go back and fix the mistakes and make sure you do the things right," he concluded.

South Africa have been drawn in Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

Bafana will begin their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.