DURBAN – Former defender Matthew Booth is backing Bafana Bafana to reach the semi-finals of the upcoming African Cup of Nations, which is set to begin in Egypt later this month.
Bafana Bafana face a challenge to advance to the semi-finals after having been placed in Group D, along with the likes of Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia.
They will be expected to defeat southern African neighbours Namibia, while Ivory Coast and Namibia will pose strong challenges as both are among the contenders to lift the title.
“I think that we have the ability to get to the semi-finals. We have got a lot of nice characters who have good continental experience,” Booth told IOL Sport on Monday.
“It is good that we are playing against the Ivory Coast first. They tend to be slow starters in tournaments.
“If we can get 4-6 points from our first two games (against Ivory Coast and Namibia), we will stand a good chance of getting out of the group.”
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter, meanwhile, faces a selection headache in goal, with Ronwen Williams and Darren Keet expected to battle it out for the title of being the first-choice goalkeeper during the Afcon.
Keet was sterling in goal for the national team during their Afcon qualifier against Libya in March, but struggled to earn regular game time at Wits towards the end of last season.
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Williams played regularly for SuperSport United, who finished in sixth place on the Premiership standings, but he has never really managed to deliver consistently good performances when called up for national team duty.
Booth believes that Baxter has three capable goalkeepers to call upon in Keet, Williams and Kaizer Chiefs’ Bruce Bvuma, and he echoed that the starting berth should ultimately go to the player who is the most impressive in training.