Bafana Bafana can catch Ivory Coast cold in their Afcon opener and make it to the semifinals.
That’s ex-defender Matthew Booth’s prediction for South Africa’s chances ahead of the tournament in Egypt later this month.
Bafana have been drawn alongside the Elephants, neighbours Namibia and Morocco in Group D.
And Booth reckons getting out of the block quickly against the west Africans can get them off to a brilliant start, while they can bag maximum points from the Brave Warriors too before facing the fourth-ranked team on the continent, the Atlas Lions.
The former fan favourite tells IOL: “It is good that we are playing against the Ivory Coast first. They tend to be slow starters.
“If we can get four to six points from our first two games, we will stand a good chance of getting out of the group.”
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he has been impressed by the boys professionalism in the past week they have been in camp preparing for the upcoming AFCON in Egypt. pic.twitter.com/bKvpM1tpCO— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) June 11, 2019
Bafana boss Stuart Baxter has named a 23-man squad with a core of seasoned players who are well-traveled in African competitions and Booth believes they can help SA go far.
This season’s Caf Champions League semifinalist Mamelodi Sundowns have five players in the squad, including Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Sibusisio Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, while Percy Tau also helped lift the 2016 trophy.
Meanwhile, Innocent Maela and PSL Footballer of the Year Thembinkosi Lorch played for Orlando Pirates, who went out at the CAFCL group stage.
And Booth adds: “I think that we have the ability to get to the semifinals. We have got a lot of nice characters who have good continental experience.”