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Bafana Bafana Have An Advantage – Rwanda National Coach

  • June 11, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Bafana Bafana Have An Advantage – Rwanda National Coach

Rwanda coach Torsten Spittler believes South Africa has a significant advantage due to minimal travel during the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

He also expressed surprise at Lesotho topping Group C after three matches despite being unable to host matches at home.

Lesotho is among 17 member associations barred by CAF due to stadiums not meeting their criteria. Consequently, they played their “home” game against Benin in Durban in November last year and will host Rwanda again at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe is also playing its home matches in South Africa, having lost to Lesotho at Orlando Stadium last Friday.

“It certainly favors them, and they’ll have a lot of spectators behind them,” said the Germany-born coach Spittler.

“South Africa is a very strong team, as evidenced by their recent bronze medal in the African Cup of Nations. They won’t underestimate any team, including us. They have a good chance, just like they did from the beginning.”

With two away matches already played (against Rwanda and Nigeria), South Africa’s next away fixture will be against Benin, who also play their home games away in Ivory Coast.

However, Benin, after defeating Nigeria on Monday, has replaced Lesotho at the top with seven points.

Rwanda, who led the group after their 2-0 victory over South Africa in the second qualifier match, are currently third with four points after three games, tied with fourth-placed Bafana Bafana, who host last-placed Zimbabwe at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Rwanda will have a familiar face in goal – Fiacre Ntwari, who plays for TS Galaxy in the PSL.

Ntwari’s inclusion follows a strong season with Galaxy, who finished fourth in the DStv Premiership and were runners-up in the Carling Knockout trophy (played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in December) to Stellenbosch. Ntwari kept nine clean sheets in 26 matches with Galaxy.

“There’s a good reason a South African club picked Fiacre as their goalkeeper,” Spittler said.

“I’m happy to have him in our squad. He’s one of our best players and very important. I believe being part of a good team and playing in a strong league aids his development. It’s a win-win situation, and we’re glad to have him.”

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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