Former Bafana Bafana coach Jomo Sono states that the national team can beat both Morocco and Namibia but must find inspiration from their good run against Cote d'Ivoire, who are yet to beat the 1996 African champions.
Sono was the coach back in 1998 when he led Bafana to the Afcon final, and he says coach Stuart Baxter’s troops can do well in Group D despite many believing that they are in the group of death.
“I think we can do well. I am sure that we will beat Namibia. Look, Ivory Coast is yet to beat us,” Sono told Isolezwe.
During his 1998 Afcon exploits, Sono overcame the Brave Warriors of Namibia 4-1 before steering his side to a win over the Atlas Lions of Morocco in the quarter-finals but eventually lost to the Pharaohs in the final.
“We beat Morocco in the quarter-finals back in 1998 in Burkina Faso. I don’t think this is a difficult group in my view,” he added.
With this year’s continental showpiece set to have 24 teams, the top two teams of each group along with the four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.
“We can progress to the next stage because two teams must qualify for the knockout stages and one that will finish better,” said the Ezenkosi boss.
“South Africa must be among the two teams that will finish at the top or be part of the four teams (third best-placed teams) that will reach the knockout stages. If we fail to do so, then we will have to play in the Sunday Leagues,” responded the legend.
Although he backed the national team to go beyond the group stages, the Jomo Cosmos boss says the results will depend on how well the team prepares for the games.
Bafana finished their Afcon qualifying campaign without a defeat, but drew three games and won as many to finish as runners-up in their group.
“I believe all will depend on the day in how much preparation we put on our games. On the other hand, you will note from the records that we did well on the road, but we have not done well in home games – so we can go a long way,” the former Bafana mentor concluded.