Baby Bafana are in search of bigger things
MARRAKECH Morocco: Olympic qualification will be only the first step of the goal set by the SA Under-23 football team, defender Thulani Hlatshwayo said yesterday.
Baby Bafana face Egypt in a crunch African U-23 Championship match here tonight.
And while their Olympic dream is on the line, they are in the hunt for the gold medal of the inaugural continental tournament.
“I don’t want to go back to South Africa on Sunday – I’ve planned a longer stay here,” Hlatshwayo said.
“I feel like this is the game that will probably define our lives and our football careers because we want to go to the Olympics.
“As a team we really want to themselves against the Egyptians, and coach Shakes Mashaba lambasted his team for their poor defence in the dying stages.
Hlatshwayo, however, insisted they would not make the same errors again.
“As a team it hurts when we know we made the same mistakes two games in a row.”
“It was almost as if we were deliberately avoiding instructions, but it was an experience and we can only learn from it.
“We are confident it won’t happen again because we can’t afford to repeat these mistakes.
“We have to play to our strengths against Egypt and win at all costs.”
Key defender Eric Mathoho returns from a knee injury and central midfielder Thami Sangweni is back from suspension to strengthen the side.
The Egyptians need only a draw to progress to the playoffs. – Sapa
Thulani Hlatshwayo… great expectations.