November 12, 2012
Chipolopolo skipper and 2012 African Footballer of the Year contender Chris Katongo says African champions Zambia have nothing to prove against South Africa stressing that it was Bafana Bafana who were under massive pressure to try and impress when the two teams meet on Wednesday night.
Said Katongo in an interview as Zambia set base in Johannesburg yesterday, “The match will be tough but I don’t think we have anything to prove against South Africa. We are the champions and for us it’s a chance to enjoy this moment to get together and start preparing for next year. The pressure is on South Africa who would want to show that they can beat us.”
But South Africa coach Gordon Igesund has, however, rubbished the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations golden ball award winner’s statement, according to a Supersport report quoting Reuters.
“This is the type of game that we need,” Igesund said adding that “I think we are much better than what we were a month ago, so I think it’s a good game for us to have. They (Zambia) are a really good team, they are well organised and they have some useful players in the side.”
“Win or lose, this game will give me a good indication where we are and how we are progressing. There is no pressure on Bafana to win a friendly match. Chris Katongo can’t say we are under pressure to win this match,” Igesund whose side has failed to qualify for the last two successive Nations Cup finals said.
South Africa last appeared at the Africa Cup in Ghana in 2008 where they failed to in a match. Bafana Bafana was thrashed by Tunisia 3-1 and only managed draws against Angola and South Africa. However, their 2008 performance, despite being booted out in the first round was better than 2006 where they were kicked out in the first round without a point and without scoring a goal.
They failed to qualify for 2010 and 2012 and only qualify for 2013 as hosts.