Bafana Bafana had better get serious, because it’s “game on” now.
Last time the national team went onto the pitch for action, there were calls for the national coach Molefi Ntseki’s head.
And that was just after a couple of friendlies to blow off the dust from not playing together all year.
Also the coach made it clear when he named his squad for the 1-1 draw with Namibia and a 2-1 loss to Zambia that he will assess some new players.
It didn’t go down well with the fans.
This time around, axes will be a-grinding, knives will be out and guns will be drawn – this time it’s serious.
It’s really been kind of tough for Ntseki since stepping up from being assistant to Stuart Baxter.
The current boss has been a long-time servant and student of the game in South Africa.
More importantly, he has been in the Bafana and national team setup for a long time too. The players know how he works, which is no bad thing.
And while his critics say that he is Safa’s man, this familiarity has to count for something.
So he and his team had better get the six points on offer in their Afcon 2022 Group C qualifying double-header with Sao Tome and Principe next month.
Anything else would jeopardise SA’s chance of booking a spot at the Covid-19-delayed Cameroon tournament.
And let me be serious one last time, if we don’t beat Sao Tome, we are in serious trouble as a footballing nation.
I don’t care about the nature of football and that you can win or lose on any given day, Bafana must be good enough to beat a side ranked 182 in the Fifa rankings twice in the space of three days.
Sao Tome’s current squad have 10 international goals between them and haven’t found the net in their previous two group games.
So even if they score against us, questions will be asked.
Seriously, If Bafana don’t beat Sao Tome twice next month, no one is going take Ntseki seriously.