Two-goal hero in the Bafana Bafana versus Sudan game last Friday, Sibusiso Vilakazi has praised the new-look squad as a group of youngsters hungry for success and who work as a collective. Talking after Bafana Bafana had beaten Santos 3-1 in a practice match at Athlone Stadium on Sunday afternoon in which he contributed with a thunderous second goal, the Bidvest Wits captain said the current crop of players would go places if they keep their feet on the ground. Other scorers during the practice game were Themba Zwane and Keagan Dolly.
“We just need to keep our feet grounded and the rest will follow. The players know what it means to represent one’s country; they know that behind their backs that they are carrying the hopes of 52 million people. That is one philosophy coach Shakes Mashaba has been drumming home now and again and I am seeing the attitude of players has tremendously changed. They are prepared to die for a just cause, work for each other and want to bring pride and happiness to the country. That is the type of task any responsible citizen needs to carry to make a difference in society,” emphasised Vilakazi whose teammates call him Vila. He said the match against the Super Eagles,, who were stunned 3-2 by Congo on Saturday was a defining encounter, “We know our history against Nigeria but we are determined to change all that. History is always there to be rewritten and I am confident that come Wednesday, we will put smiles on most South Africans.” Captain Senzo Meyiwa said with the type of vibe currently being exuded in the Bafana Bafana camp, the Super Eagles will face a Herculean task to come here and steal maximum points.
“Yes, they say in soccer certain teams have their hoodoo side but we are ready for the Nigeria match. We are all determined to change the course of history and everyone cannot wait for Wednesday,” he said. The Orlando Pirates goal-minder said they were not worried about Nigeria’s internal strife and the fact that they are still smarting from a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Central Africans. “The fact that they lost to Congo has not affected our preparations and determination; we are just concentrating on our task at hand and that is to beat them at Cape Town stadium on Wednesday. My only appeal to Capetonians is to buy tickets and provide an electric atmosphere. Cape Town people have never disappointed and I know they will provide that extra motivation when we trot into the pitch on Wednesday,” said Meyiwa.
Wednesday’s match kicks off at 20:00.