Captain Themba Zwane Looks Ahead to the World Cup Qualifiers

With the domestic season having come to an end at the weekend, nine of the Mamelodi Sundowns players will shift their focus to national duties as they represent Bafana Bafana and the Zimbabwean Warriors respectively.

Following an injury sustained, Grant Kekana will not be joining coach Hugo Broos’ squad ahead of the two encounters at the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. On the other hand, defender, Divine Lunga has been called up in the Zimbabwean squad for the qualifiers.

Looking ahead of the two qualifying matches this month, captain Themba Zwane shared his happiness on receiving a call-up for the third time this year.

“It always feels good to represent the nation. I’m happy to be there and to be given another opportunity to contribute to the national team,” he stated.

The first stop for Bafana Bafana will be at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo when they take on Nigeria in their home turf on Friday, 7 June 2024. A candid Zwane admitted that the clash against the Super Eagles will not be an easy one. A win against the Nigerian side would be redemption, after being edged out by them at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final through penalties.

“Both games are very important. We just want to win the two games even though we know they are both going to be difficult, especially the match against Nigeria. It will be more difficult because we will be playing away from home. We played against them at AFCON and we know what they are capable of. It’s going to be an exciting game to watch and we will put up a good fight to ensure that we get the desired results,” Zwane said.

Coach Hugo Broos’ charges will then return to South Africa on Saturday, ahead of their match against the Warriors on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 in Bloemfontein. Locking horns with his Mamelodi Sundowns teammate, Lunga, will be difficult, according to Zwane. Zwane however, asserted that his side will head to this encounter with a positive mindset.

“The match against Zimbabwe will also be an exciting one. Some of the guys we will be playing against are our teammates. We know each other and this is why I say it will also be a difficult game but we are going there with a positive mind and we will try to win the game.”

Bafana Bafana will take on Nigeria on Friday, 7 June 2024 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo. Kick-off has been scheduled for 20H00. They will then host Zimbabwe on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. Kick-off has been scheduled for 18H00.

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