South African u23 defender Tebogo Moerane has warned Senegal ahead of the all-important third/fourth place play off in the CAF u23 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament, which will be played on Saturday, 12 December 2015 at Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal.
Both teams go into the match at the back of semi-final losses and have the last chance to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
South Africa lost 2-0 to Algeria while Senegal was defeated 1-0 by Nigeria.
There are three spots available for African countries at the Olympics, and, with the victories, Nigeria and Algeria booked their places. They also qualified for the final of the tournament.
Now there is only one spot remaining, which will be contested by South Africa and Senegal.
“We lost the first game against them but this time it will be a different game altogether and under different circumstances. We have prepared well and I think we ready to take them on. It’s a very important match for all of us – the players, management and our country because we all want to go to go to the Olympics and this is a decider for us,” said Moerane.
“We all know tomorrow is must win game, and a loss is unthinkable, it’s a real do or die game for us.”
South Africa arrived in Senegal with a lot of promise ahead of the tournament as they have perhaps one of the best-assembled squads. They lost the first game, won the next two but fell in the semi-final.
“We are not under pressure, and I believe we can turn things around and win the match against Senegal because our objective is Rio and we still have a chance to achieve it. We have to play our normal game, keep the focus, do our best and the result will come,” added Moerane.
“We know it’s not going to be easy to play against the hosts in their backyard because there will be a lot of advantages for them, like they will have the crowd behind them, but all we to do is to go there and fight.”
Kickoff between South Africa and Senegal is at 18h00 South African time (16h00 local time).
** In the event of a draw at the end of regulation time, the winner will be determined by the taking of penalty kicks (there will be no extra time)