Bafana Bafana kick off their African Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign tonight at 9pm. With many soccer fans delighted at the national teamâ€™s current winning streak, they can only hope our squad does them proud in their first match against Algeria â€“ and throughout the tournament. PONTSHO PILANE took to the streets of Braamfontein to ask excited soccer fans their predictions.
Siyabulela Hotele, 30, franchise owner, Braamfontein
Bafana is going to win against Algeria: the score will be 1-0 to South Africa. I think the squad was tired of losing and being lambasted by the country. They want to make us proud and I think they will. But they will not win Afcon: that is hoping and wishing for too much. I am not really a soccer fan, but I will be watching Afcon just to support our boys â€“ I am proudly South African.
Thomas Skhosana, 31, security guard, Chiawelo
I think that Bafana Bafana will make it tonight. My score prediction is 2-1, in our favour. I believe in the squad, it is younger than the old one and these boys are more energetic and hungry for the win. They also see that the reward is great and want to win. I think Shakes Mashaba has selected an amazing squad and we have the chance to win the cup. Bafana Bafana have gotten a facelift and a new kind of energy and it is wonderful to watch them now. The squad is ready for Algeria and any other team â€“ I see no threat for our boys.
Neo Mothupi, 32, cleaner, Lenasia
South Africa will be winning this game against Algeria! They have no choice but to win because so many times they have disappointed the country â€“ I think they are ready to make us proud, indeed. Algeria are strong â€“ also the other teams â€“ but our coach is trying and he has been on fire. I think we have the potential to go to the semi-finals but we will not make it through to the finals. It would be silly to think we can beat all those teams, but we are not so weak anymore.
Bonginkosi Mthembu, 32, skills development officer, Germiston
My score prediction is 2-1, with a win for our boys. Coach Mashaba has really transformed the team from the weak one it used to be to this super squad. Algeria are a very strong teamm but I trust Mashaba and the new squad. We have the ability to make to the finals and I think that we will play against Ghana in the final. The Afcon cup belongs in South Africa because we are the hub of Africa, so it is only right we win. In Shakes Mashaba we shall trust!
Tokelo Ramabele, 30, franchise owner, KwaZulu-Natal
The squad has been incredibly transformed and because Shakes Mashaba has created a great combination of middle fielders and defenders, we really have a chance to take this home. Tonight we will beat Algeria by one goal to none. We have a good team and our strikers are amazing. I think we have the potential to get to the semi-finals, but you can never know. I will wait to see how the other teams play to see if we really have a chance.
– Featured image: Marcello Casal Jr/ABr via WikiMedia Commons.