The 2023 HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Cup gets under way this afternoon at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban with the potential for a new champion to be crowned in the 12-team regional showpiece event. Hosts South Africa take on Namibia in the second clash of the day at 6pm at the same venue.
The Brave Warriors have twice before dumped Bafana out of the COSAFA Cup, though both instances were some time ago.
The era of current Namibian coach Collin Benjamin, Ricardo Mannetti and Congo Hindjou beat Bafana 3-2 in the 1998 tournament for a famous win in Windhoek, and then knocked them out again on penalties the next year following a 1-1 draw.
Bafana have won the four matches in this competition since then, so maybe have long put those setbacks behind them.
“Every player we requested is in camp,” said Bafana’s coach Morena Ramoreboli.
He added: “Honestly speaking, these are the kind of tournaments that play an important role in the rankings of Bafana Bafana and we should try our level best to win and compete, and I think it is the right opportunity for us to perform well and get positive results. The technical team and the manager have done well in ensuring that the team’s preparations are well managed ahead of the tournament. We played a practice match in Pretoria against North West University before departure to Durban and it was a really good match. We wanted to activate and prepare for the tournament, which I think helped with this practice match and gave us what we wanted.”