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Bafana Bafana captain Hlatshwayo challenges teammates to get the job done against Ghana

If Ntseki’s men win on Thursday, and Sudan drop points against Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa’s ticket for Cameroon 2022 would be confirmed

South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo wants to avoid a situation they experienced in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign when they went into the final match uncertain of participation for the tournament in Egypt.

Bafana Bafana host Ghana on Thursday, before they travel to Sudan for Sunday’s final Group C match as they are currently second in their group with nine points, the same as the Black Stars.

Victory over Ghana, a Sao Tome and Principe win over Sudan or at least draw on Wednesday, will see South Africa claim a berth for Cameroon 2022 with a match to spare.

This would be unlike their 2019 Afcon qualification bid when they faced Libya away in their last game needing at least a draw to seal a place at the tournament.

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“We obviously know how important these two games are, especially playing at home against Ghana who we lost to in the first round,” Hlatshwayo told the media.

“It’s very important for us to get a result because we don’t want to have the same situation like the last time we qualified for Afcon 2019 where we had to leave it late against Libya. For us, we have to make sure that we get a full result and go to Sudan knowing very well that we have qualified.”

Bafana Bafana began training on Monday but there were concerns about some overseas-based players not being released for national duty by their clubs.

Coach Molefi Ntseki has described as “unfair” and “punishment” that South Africa is regarded as a coronavirus hotspot, a label that has led to European club reluctant to release their players.

“We should all agree that nobody from South Africa or Africa brought Covid-19. It is very unfair for us to be punished by saying, ‘you cannot be released to go to South Africa because it is a hot spot’. I think all over the world, it’s a hot spot,” said Ntseki as per IOL.

“For them not to release our players it’s a very big disappointment for us. I think even in South America, they were made aware that there were players that weren’t going to be released for the World Cup qualifiers and they suspended their games.”

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