On the one hand, the Bafana coach will have wished he had not supported the idea of attaching the unofficial status to the games, as the 1-1 result with the Chipolopolo now has a hollow ring to it.
Ayanda Gcaba’s equalising goal will not be in any records, and the many players who donned the national colours for the first time in the clash at Rand Stadium will probably not earn official caps anytime soon.
The performance against African Nations Cup finalists Zambia certainly took everybody by surprise, when many feared the Bafana C-side would face annihilation, but as Mosimane warned, taking on the might of Ghana is a different task altogether.
“We will have to soldier on, even though we are losing players,” Mosimane said in reference to the departure from camp of May Mahlangu, whose Swedish club Helsingborg have recalled him.
Also uncertain to play in Sunday’s clash against the Black Stars (Royal Bafokeng Sports Place, 4pm) is Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who picked up a knock in midweek. Letsholonyane was expected to undergo a scan this morning, which should determine the extent of his injury.
If he’s ruled unfit to face Ghana, Mosimane will have an even weaker side. It is a scenario that perhaps justifies the classification of the match as unofficial, given that Ghana have their strongest squad and, having seen Zambia struggle against this Bafana lot, will attach some significance to the match.
Mosimane warned his young team would face a different beast and should not read too much into Wednesday. “We achieved our objective of giving the youngsters a chance. These boys needed this confidence, but we must remember that Ghana have all these star players like (Sulley) Muntari, the Ayew (André and Jordan) brothers, Asamoah Gyan – all these guys have played in the Champions League. But football has never been about names. It’s about what happens in the 90 minutes.”
The Bafana coach still believes a result is not insurmountable against the star-studded Black Stars. “Anything is possible. We conceded an early goal against Zambia and I did not expect these boys to come back in the manner that they did. But they have proven that with a little bit of patience, we can get somewhere with them. Behind every closed door there’s an opportunity. When doors were closed on us with players withdrawing, these boys made the most of it.”
Contrary to expectations, the format of Wednesday’s game against Zambia didn’t look as farcical as anticipated, even though up to nine substitutions had been agreed to prior to kick off.
Sunday’s game should be played under the same circumstances, with Mosimane hinting he’ll make several changes.