With Bafana Bafana not in action, Isports correspondent Eshlin Vedan takes a look at five football matches you should keep your eyes on during the coming week.
Durban — Bafana Bafana’s scheduled Afcon 2023 qualification match against Zimbabwe this week has been cancelled, owing to FIFA banning our southern African neighbours from international competition. This means that Bafana Bafana will not be in action this week.
With that being said, the following are five matches you should keep your eyes peeled on this week.
Liberia vs Morocco (Monday 13 June)
After beating Bafana Bafana 1-0 last week in their Group K opener, Morocco will be looking to make it two wins on the trot by downing Liberia at the Stade Mohammed V. On paper, Morocco will be the firm favourites to down the 149th ranked Liberians.
A win in this game will put the Atlas Lions in firm control of Group K in Afcon qualifying.
Australia vs Peru (Monday, 13 June)
This is the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vs South American (CONMEBOL) intercontinental play-off that will determine which of the two nations qualifies for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year. The winner of the game will be in Group D of the World Cup alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia.
Graham Arnold’s Australia side are hoping to reach the World Cup finals for the fifth consecutive time while Peru are looking to qualify for the second consecutive time after their Group Stage appearance in 2018.
Costa Rica vs New Zealand (Tuesday, 14 June)
This game will serve as the CONCACAF (North America) vs Oceania (OFC) World Cup intercontinental play-off. The winner will advance to Group E of the World Cup to play alongside Spain, Germany and Japan.
Costa Rica will be heavily favoured to reach the World Cup finals for a third consecutive time while New Zealand will try to upset the favourites and secure a first World Cup finals appearance since 2010.
France vs Croatia (Monday, 13 June)
The 2018 World Cup winners have not been their usual selves recently and are without a win in their last three games.
This game will be a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final and the Croatians will be hoping for some revenge.
Netherlands vs Wales (Tuesday, 14 June)
Since veteran manager Louis Van Gaal rejoined the Netherlands as head coach after their disappointing Euro 2020 campaign last year, the Oranje have transformed into one of the top sides in Europe and could be contenders to win the 2022 World Cup at this rate.
In this game, they will meet against Gareth Bale’s Wales who will be on a high after having recently secured World Cup qualification for the first time since 1958.