Mmegi Online :: Bright fancies Zebras chances against Bafana
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Last Updated
Friday 21 July 2017, 15:54 pm.
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Bright fancies Zebras chances against Bafana

FRANCISTOWN: New Zebras coach, David Bright believes his underperforming side can turn around their fortunes against South Africa in the first leg of the 2018 Total Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifiers at the Francistown Sports Complex tomorrow.
By Koketso Kgoboge Fri 14 Jul 2017, 17:01 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Bright fancies Zebras chances against Bafana








Kickoff is 3:30pm. Since the Cranes of Uganda clamped the Zebras in June last year, the locals have found it difficult to recover. The Crane’s 2-1 defeat put to a halt, the Zebras dominance in Francistown and the beginning of a year-old winless run.

Ever since, the Zebras have been regressing in the FIFA rankings, thanks to the ensuing 10 defeats.  In the fateful streak, they have twice lost to Bafana. Zebras lost 3-2 to Bafana Bafana in the 2016 COSAFA final before they lost 2-0 in this year’s edition. Bafana Bafana has dominated the Zebras in their past seven meetings to date with six wins, one draw and a loss that the former got after a penalty shoot out.

In the seven meetings, the neighbours found the net 13 times and Zebras scored five goals. In their last visit here in 2012, the South Africans escaped with a 1-1 draw. In the rankings released on July 6, the Zebras have dropped to position 138 in the world and 39th in Africa while their opponents are ranked 64th and 13th respectively. The Zebras supporters are keen for Bafana’s scalp.

Bright could instantly win the hearts of the fans if he manages to turn the tables against the neighbours and restore the winning culture at the Francistown fortress. Bright understands South African football well having spent some time with different clubs at top levels in the neighbouring country.

He will have to do with players selected mostly by his predecessors, Peter Butler and Boyo Radipotsane. Bright said he would have wished to bolster the squad but could not

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secure the players due to time constraints.

Bright is expected to deploy a more cautious approach with defensive minded players. Simisani Mathumo and Kaelo Kgaswane are expected to be instrumental defensively while up front the Zebras will bank on the usual suspects Kabelo Seakanyeng, Lemponye Tshireletso and Tumisang Orebonye to lead the attack. “We requested for a few players from Township Rollers and Orapa United, but it was already late and we appreciate they have their schedules,” he said.

“We have beefed at left back with Kaelo Kgaswane and the team is not bad. For now, we have tried to coordinate the squad and we will beef it up with experience as time goes.” Bright said his charges should not be ruled out basing on their dismal performances at COSAFA tournament. “We fancy our chances. People must not read too much into the performances of the team at COSAFA.

We have changed a bit and so far so good. All we need is the support of all the stakeholders and we will do our best.” The visitors have also made a few changes to the squad that out-played the Zebras at COSAFA games. The home side will have to be wary of the threats of Riyaad Norodien who caused troubles in the last encounter, Ryan Moon, Siyabonga Nhlapo and Siphelele Nchingase, among others.

  The return leg will be played at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa next weekend. The victors over the two legs face the winner between Zambia and Swaziland next month and the winner qualifies for the Kenya showpiece early next year.

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