Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Can SA do it as hosts again





In 1996, South Africa stormed into African and world soccer record books by winning their hosted Afcon in style. Mandela’s smile as the trophy was lifted still sets my emotions racing when I think back.

Seventeen years later and, once again, South Africa are hosts and I have been asked by South Africans everywhere if I think they can do it again? If yes, what must they do or not do?

Of course, some South Africans are skeptical and you can’t blame them but they have several reasons to be hopeful. Understandably, the big boys like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Zambia would agree that South Africa should be worried but in so many ways South Africa could be deadly once again.

IMPORTANT FOR SOUTH AFRICA:

This tournament is hosted in South Africa and, like it or not, the home advantage could be a very significant factor. For the team to have a good chance of success the fans have to repeat the wild support they gave them when they clashed with France at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The players themselves have to believe in their own abilities to win. If they are not convinced that they have a chance, then they should forget it. If you do not trust in yourself who will? Your rivals?

From a tactical point of view, a more direct play towards goal and playing with the sole objective of scoring, even if it doesn’t have to be beautiful, could be quite useful. Remember, defending is rarely beautiful!

They have to take the advice of President Zuma, to shun the critics and play to win. In other words it is not important what people think. What matters is what the players (actors) do.

From day one, the game v Cape Verde is probably the most important one for South Africa. They should in no way be taken lightly. This is because they are a good side (Cameroon are witnesses to how good they are, having been eliminated by Cape Verde) and a good and resounding start to Afcon is paramount to winning it. Falter and your next opponents come at you with no fear.

Most of these points apply to most teams really and at the end, may the best team win. It’s time to play and feast in South Africa.


Recent columns


All Columns


Print

Comments

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ready for the Big Whistle-Off?
They say time flies when you’re enjoying yourself. For footy followers the start of the 2015/16...

Carol Radull
Fitting curtain raiser for the EPL
Arsene Wenger’s attempts to beat Jose Mourinho have finally born fruit with a thrilling curtain...

John Dykes
Londoners to capitalise on pre-season
On Sunday, Wembley Stadium will once again host a game of football that isn’t all we think it is.

Segun Odegbami
Predicting the EPL winners
We are moments away from the start of the European football season. So, let’s look at the teams...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Premier League preview - part 1
Maybe it is a sign of my age, or an indication of how the last two seasons have been for the club I...

Sunday Oliseh
Super Eagles job: an uphill task worth taking
It is definitely the most delicate football job on the African continent and the most demanding.