As the Zebras prepare for the all-important 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against South Africa at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on September 7, former Bafana Bafana midfielder, Quinton Fortune, has predicted that it is not going to be an easy affair for his home country.
Both sides have a chance of qualifying to the third phase of the qualifiers if Ethiopia loses away to Central African Republic on the same day. The Ethiopians lead Group A with 10 points followed by South Africa on eight points then Botswana is third with seven.
Fortune, who has been capped 46 times for South Africa, said, “It is going to be an open game because Botswana has a lot of potential. It is going to be an interesting game because Botswana managed to hold South Africa to a 1-1 draw in the first leg here in Gaborone (in June 2012) which was incredible.”
In the first leg, Morgan Gould opened the scoring for Bafana Bafana with a powerful header before Ofentse restored parity for the Zebras. At the time, Bafana Bafana were under interim coach Steve Komphela.
The Zebras went into camp on Sunday to prepare for the crucial clash and they are expected to play two international friendly games against Uganda on Saturday before hosting Malawi on September 3. Both games are expected to be played at the refurbished National Stadium in Gaborone.
South African coach Gordon Igesund named his squad yesterday in Durban and Fortune pointed out that the best way for their coach to silence critics is by winning against the Zebras.
“We need to go all out for a win and if we lose to Botswana, the media (in South Africa) is going to have a field day,” he said.
The former Manchester United star added that though he has not been following Botswana football until at the 2012 African Nations Cup in Gabon, he was impressed by the potential of local players.
“Botswana showed a lot of confidence and I was impressed by their passing game. Technically, I realized that Botswana players are good but at tournaments like Afcon experience counts most,” he added.
Fortune, who is Manchester United ambassador, arrived in Gaborone at the weekend at the invitation of DHL who are logistics sponsors for the Old Trafford outfit. During his time here, he interacted with Manchester United fans and signed autographs. He even went to Molepolole where he watched Notwane hammering Newton Highlanders 6-1 in a friendly game.
Fortune jetted out of the country yesterday.