Moses Mabhida expected to host Zebras – Bafana clash
The highly anticipated 2014World Cup Qualifi er clashbetween Botswana andSouth Africa (SA) is widely tippedto take place at the Moses MabhidaStadium. The Durban based stadiumis renowned for its electricatmosphere because the city boastsBafana Bafana’s biggest supportbase.The South African Football Association(SAFA) is yet to confi rmthe venue of the crucial match butrumors have circulated that SAFAis seriously considering the 54 000capacity stadium since they have agood record in the Kwa Zulu Natalarea.Durban is viewed as Bafana’slucky charm and also a spiritualhome since the city hosted theside’s first international gameafter its readmission to FIFA in1992. The game between SA andCameroon took place in July thatyear, ending in a 1-0 victory forthe hosts.
At the Moses MabhidaStadium they have played sevengames so far, winning three, drawingthree and losing once.Gordon Igesund’s side hasplayed 20 games in the city in total,they have won 16 games, drawntwice and lost twice. At one pointBafana had not conceded a goal inDurban for seven games, a recordthat spanned 11 years before Englandbeat them 2-1 in 2003.The former African championsthen went on a 10 year undefeatedstreak before they lost 3-1 on penaltiesagainst Mali in an AFCONquarterfi nal this year at the MabidhaStadium. Botswana FootballAssociaion (BFA) president, TebogoSebego, told Gazette Sportthat the game might be staged at aplace where the home side has anadded advantage.“
I believe the game will behosted in Durban. Their biggestsupport comes from that area. Ifwe were in the same position wewould also host the game in a stadiumwhere we believe we canproduce our best performance. Thedistance from Botswana to Durbanwill not be a problem for our supportersbecause they have travelledlonger distances in the past,” saidthe BFA president.University of Pretoria midfielder, Dipsy Selolwane describedthe stadium’s atmosphere saying,“Durban is a beautiful city, the fansare jubilant and they will surelycome to the match in full force.
The Moses Mabhida Stadium hasa great vibe, it can be a bit intimidatingbecause of the passionatesupporters.”The clash is only two monthsaway, Group A leaders Ethiopiahave been deducted three pointsand the deduction has added moreintensity to a fi xture which wasinitially hailed as a ‘dead rubber’.If Zebras win the match theyare likely to qualify for the 2014World Cup Qualifying play-offs,however, this would only be possibleif Central African Republicbeat Ethiopia on the same day. Thegame is scheduled to take place onSeptember 6.