Wounded South Africa welcomes Cape Verde

South Africa will square off with Cape Verde in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban today.

Bafana Bafana were shocked 2-0 by Cape Verde in their previous group match which was played at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia last Friday.

The defeat left South Africa third on the Group D standings with four points from three games. They are a point behind group leaders Burkina Faso. Bafana have participated in three World Cup finals and this was their first defeat in Group D – having recorded a draw and a victory, before facing Cape Verde, Stuart Baxter, the Bafana head coach, will look to Tokelo Rantie.

The Turkey-based striker netted South Africa’s goal against the Blue Sharks last week.

Meanwhile, Cape Verde registered their first victory in Group D as they had lost to Senegal and Burkina Faso in their first two group matches. The Blue Sharks have never qualified for World Cup finals, but they reached the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals which were hosted by South Africa. Lucio Antunes, the Blue Sharks head coach, is expected to unleash Nuno Rocha once again. The midfielder netted a brace against South Africa last week.

Cape Verde have been boosted by the fact that they do not have any suspensions. Bafana defender Erick Mathoho will miss the match due suspension. Referee Ferdinard Udoh, who hails from Nigeria, will officiate the encounter between South Africa and Cape Verde in Durban.

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