South Africa coach Hugo Broos believes their northern neighbours will show no hospitality and go straight for the kill against his fresh-faced team.
BAFANA Bafana must be prepared for an early knockout attempt when they face Zimbabwe in their opening World Cup 2022 qualifier in Harare at 3pm on Friday.
Coach Hugo Broos believes their northern neighbours will show no hospitality and go straight for the kill against his fresh-faced team.
With just skipper Ronwen Williams and Percy Tau among a tiny handful of players who have earned more than 10 international caps, Broos has been getting his manne mentally ready for the big stage.
He says: “I know Zimbabwe are lying in wait and want to beat us.
“They are our neighbours and several of their players play in South Africa. So they will be fired up to beat us. It will be tough.
“We will suffer, certainly in the beginning of the game. And this is something you have to survive. We have to be mentally strong. This is the side of the game that we will work on.”
A solid start to their Group G campaign is needed to beat Zimbabwe, Tuesday’s opponents Ghana and Ethiopia to the final play-off round for a World Cup place.
And the Bafana boss has painted a scenario for his players of what they face – and ain’t pretty.
He warns: “If I was the coach of Zimbabwe, I would try to take South Africa by the throat and try to kill them from the beginning.
“This is something that many coaches do. And I think they will try to get one or two goals early and then the match is finished – it’s tough to come back then.
“We have to be ready for that.”