Bafana unfazed by artificial pitch for Afcon qualifier against Congo

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Since they started their training camp, most of Bafana’s training sessions have been conducted on the synthetic surface at the Royal Marang Sports Complex – a deliberate move by coach Ephraim Mashaba ahead of the weekend match.

“All the players are used to this sort of surface,” Meyiwa said.

“At Orlando Pirates, we played on a similar surface during the CAF Champions League in the DRC. It is likely to be the same. As a goalkeeper you know that when you dive, you might get a grass burn but that is part of the game.

“We are all well prepared for Congo and we will not be affected by the artificial surface. The way we play will remain the same,” he added.    

Meyiwa believes that the Kaizer Chiefs defensive pair of Tefu Mashamaite and Mulomowandau Mathoho will give him a good chance of keeping another clean sheet.

Meyiwa is yet to concede a goal after the team’s previous two Afcon qualifiers against Sudan and Nigeria. South Africa defeated Sudan 3–0 in their opening Group A match before they were held to a goalless draw by African champions Nigeria last month.

“Mathoho and Mashamaite are very good defenders and whether or not I will keep another clean sheet also depends on their performance on Saturday,” Meyiwa said.

“A goalkeeper is as good as his defence and this is why we need to be disciplined from the first whistle right up to the end of the table.”

Congo top the log with six points following wins over Nigeria and Sudan while South Africa are second with four points – three ahead of Nigeria.