South Africa coach Gordon Igesund has urged his side to seize their second chance to keep their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ alive.
The Bafana Bafana must win their final group A game on Saturday against Botswana in Durban and hope group leaders Ethiopia fail to beat the Central African Republic in neutral Brazzaville. Ethiopia thought they had sealed their place in the play-off round in June after a 2-1 win over South Africa, but they subsequently saw their previous victor over Botswana overturned for fielding an ineligible player.
Igesund said: “We want Ethiopia to draw or lose, but we cannot worry about what happens in Brazzaville. All we can do is go out and win.”
Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw has described his side’s final game as “do or die” as they seek to maintain their hopes of qualifying for their first FIFA World Cup finals.
” We want Ethiopia to draw or lose, but we cannot worry about what happens in Brazzaville. All we can do is go out and win. ”
South Africa coach Gordon Igesund
The winners will take all in Kumasi where Group D leaders Ghana defend a one-point lead over second-placed Zambia in Friday’s only match. Ghana, quarter-finalists at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, have midfielders Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien all available again.
Nigeria will book their place in the play-off rounds from Group F if Stephen Keshi’s men beat Malawi in Calabar. Keshi has Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel available again after he missed last month’s friendly win in South Africa. Only a win will be enough for Malawi to progress at the Super Eagles’ expense.
Group B leaders Tunisia only need a point at home to Cape Verde to progress from Group B, while a draw will also be good enough for Group I leaders Cameroon at home to Libya, and Group J leaders Senegal who face Uganda in neutral Marrakech.
Congo will progress from Group E providing they win at bottom-placed Niger, but anything less could let in Burkina Faso or Gabon, who meet in Ougadougou.
Côte d’Ivoire, who face Morocco, plus Egypt and Algeria have already qualified from Groups C, G and H respectively for the play-offs, the draw for which will be made in Cairo later this month.