South Africa v Namibia: Vilakazi expects Bafana Bafana response

Both South Africa and Namibia were beaten in their AFCON openers and the pressure is already building on the Bafana Bafana in Egypt.

Bafana Bafana star Sibusiso Vilakazi has five goals and two assists in 27 appearances for the country.   -  Getty Images

South Africa lost its Africa Cup of Nations opener to Ivory Coast and forward Sibusiso Vilakazi knows it must improve for a crucial clash with Namibia.

Bafana Bafana was outplayed despite the narrow nature of its 1-0 defeat to a Jonathan Kodjia goal, leaving the side pointless as it takes on an opponent which itself was beaten 1-0 by Morocco.

And Vilakazi acknowledged South Africa has already reached "must-win" status at such an early stage of this year's tournament.

READ| Ivory Coast 1 South Africa 0: Kodjia secures precious opening win

"With Namibia now, we need to get a response in terms of winning," the Mamelodi Sundowns attacker told TimesLIVE. "We have to win at all costs."

"We got to this AFCON and it's a must-win [game] for us - it doesn't matter how. This is a point where we need to react, we need to win games."

"We find ourselves in a very challenging situation but we have to respond to it."

Meanwhile, Namibia had positives to take from its own reverse and coach Ricardo Mannetti is buoyed ahead of meeting South Africa on Friday.

"We come into the match with positives from the Morocco game and we need to compete and get the result we want," he told a news conference.

"It's not about the next round but the first win for the country and then anything can happen. The players are very close and some have met so many times before and so that will be interesting."

"This is our moment to enjoy and make memories and we grab this chance to play against the best on the continent. This is our World Cup."

ALSO READ| Morocco v Namibia: Renard begins quest for third AFCON title


PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Africa - Ronwen Williams

Goalkeeper Williams was a slightly surprising choice to start against Ivory Coast, yet he was South Africa's standout performer as it gave its esteemed opponents a scare. Outstanding stops denied Kodjia and Nicolas Pepe and he will be targeting a clean sheet against Namibia.

Namibia - Lloyd Kazapua

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Namibia's star man last time out was also its goalkeeper. Kazapua was unfortunate to see substitute Itamunua Keimuine head into his own net but will have to be at his best again to keep Bafana Bafana at bay.


KEY OPTA FACTS

South Africa has won its only previous encounter against Namibia in the Africa Cup of Nations, back in February 1998 (4-1).

Former South Africa striker Benni McCarthy grabbed all four goals during that previous tournament meeting. He is also the last player to score four in a single AFCON game.

South Africa has won only once in its past 15 group stage games at the Africa Cup of Nations (D6 L8). That solitary success was in January 2013, against Angola (2-0), when Bafana Bafana hosted the tournament.

Namibia is winless in its seven games played at the Africa Cup of Nations (D2 L5), failing to keep a clean sheet in any of these seven encounters (19 goals conceded).

Three of South Africa's past six goals at the Africa Cup of Nations have been scored from outside the box.