A Bafana Bafana delegation was greeted by some chilly weather conditions upon their arrival in Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday. Coach Gordon Igesund’s side came within a whisker of pulling off a sensational win over Australia before settling for a 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Monday. Having left Australia 12 hours after playing against the Socceroos, the South Africans shifted focus to the All Whites, ranked a lowly 111th in the world but number one in the Oceania Football Confederation. The two teams meet at MT Smart Stadium which has a capacity of 30 000 on Friday.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 09:30 South African time. The unfriendly weather conditions, which are set to be aggravated by persistent rains, are predicted to dominate the coming days in this bustling city of over 1.5 million inhabitants. While temperatures in Sydney hovered around 25 to 27 degrees Celsius, Auckland is likely to test Bafana Bafana’s resolve in adapting to different weather patterns in which day temperatures are set to remain below 16 degrees Celcius.
“I need the boys to fully recover from the fatigue of constant travelling. The past day has really been exhausting. They have not had a good sleep since playing Australia. The boys are exhausted but in very high spirits. We should witness another exhilarating match on Friday,” said coach Gordon Igesund. The squad will have a swimming pool session in the morning before having a full training session later in the day on Wednesday. The team was seen off from Australia by SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan who could not travel to New Zealand due to some other pressing matters back home.
SAFA will have a National Executive Committee meeting this coming Saturday to discuss various issues concerning the Association.