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CAR qualifier 'was a good win'

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Bafana Bafana have done half the job with a first, slick 3-0 victory in their World Cup qualifier against Central African Republic on Saturday, but Ethiopia at altitude is still the tougher prospect.Now Bafana need another win in hostile Addis Ababa which is 2400m above sea level, against an Ethiopia side that certainly showed at the Africa Cup of Nations finals early this year that they can play.

Ethiopia beat Botswana 2-1 in Gaborone on Saturday and top Group A with 10 points. If SA, on eight points, win on Sunday, they will have their destiny in their own hands when they face Botswana at home in their final match in September.

Coach Gordon Igesund admitted he was concerned about the altitude in Addis Ababa."Johannesburg is at 1600 metres, Addis Ababa is 800 metres higher," the Bafana coach said yesterday. "So there's no air up there. I will try and save the players with the way we play tactically.

"And I've brought a team where I have players who can change a game, like Richard Henyekane and Tlou Segolela.

"I think with the character the players have shown and the passion to get to the World Cup, it's going to be tough but we've got a chance."

The victory against CAR was impressive given that Bafana had travel setbacks - two cancelled flights saw them take three days to reach Yaounde - and defensive injuries.

"We've had good games, but I think this was a good win," Igesund said. "I'm really pleased about a lot of things. We are not conceding goals, we're scoring goals. In our last three games, we scored three on Saturday, two against Lesotho and two against CAR in Cape Town."

Bafana players have said the higher frequency of chances the team creates is due to the direct football Igesund has instilled.

"In the two goals we scored on Saturday, there were five or six inter-passes and those little one-twos," the coach said.

 

"It's easy to keep the ball in your own half and go sideways. I like to put opponents on the back foot. If they score two we are going to score three - that's been my motto my whole life."

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