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Pitso’s Bafana jet in today

Pitso’s Bafana jet in today

2010 World Cup host South Africa will be at Sierra Leone National airport today in a bid to reach the Afcon 2012 to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. This Sunday is the day Bafana will be tested to the limit when they face Leone Stars in Freetown at the Brooksfield Stadium at 4.20pm SL time.  (Photo:  Bafana Bafana team)

Bafana under Pitso has shown a remarkable return to form since former Brazilian World Cup coach Carlos Alberto Parreira stopped the side going into free fall last November after a disastrous 17-month reign by his fellow countryman Joel Santana.

Pitso will be without his key star player Steven Pienaar while Captain Aaron Mokoena has a mild groin strain ahead of the crucial encounter. Nevertheless, now that the “professor” has left, his student in Pitso Mosimane is carrying on in the same vein. Mosimane has studied well under Parreira and while picking up guidance under Parreira, he also knows where Santana got it badly wrong. Despite all his main players are reported not fit enough, he has said he will return to South Africa with result.

Well this Sunday’s clash in the Sierra Leone capital will be a test of all times for Pitso’s men, because coach Cole says Leone Stars are up for the task. If we all can remember they dumped Bafana 1-0 in their backyard two years back to end Bafana’s hopes of reaching the 2010 Afcon finals in Angola.

Despite Sierra Leone;s lowly Fifa ranking, they showed they will be no easy-prey by holding Group G favourites and African champions Egypt, to a 1-1 draw in Cairo in their opening group match last month. While Bafana downed Niger 2-0 in Nelspruit to get the qualifying campaign off to a winning start.

Leone Stars in training yesterday

Sierra Leone President as well as the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the US have pinpointed the need for victory this Sunday.  Bafana players interviewed this week were all singing from the same hymn sheet that this will be a different and better prepared Bafana ready to snatch three vital away points.

It is up to the players now to do their talking on the field and show they have learnt from the mistakes made in the 1-0 loss in June 2008.

According news from 24hrs Sports, Pitso’s men are already panicking calling the 90 mintues of football a rain-soaked of football; Mosimane has two choices for the vacant berth on the right of midfield where Pienaar has been so effective. He could opt for out of form Orlando Pirates Teko Modise – who has failed to even make the bench for Bucs during their last two MTN8 matches.

Of the two Moriri is the better bet. His spirits are high and he has a point to prove. Modise, on the other hand, is low on confidence and it would be a brave coach who selects him for a “dirty” job in rain-soaked Freetown.

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