• The real test will be in Egypt – Maela

    Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns challenges Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates

    Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela is proud that Bafana Bafana qualified for the 2019 Afcon, but insists their journey is only beginning.

    The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes for Bafana Bafana as they secured a crucial 2-1 victory over Libya in Tunisia on Sunday through a brace from Percy Tau.

    As a result, the South African national team qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt later this year.

    ‘I am so happy right now,’ Maela told his club’s official website.

    ‘We had a lot of pressure going into this game because of the hopes of the millions of people on our shoulders. This is a football loving country and for far too long they had little to be proud of about the national team but with this qualification I think it could be the start of a renewed hope and belief in Bafana Bafana.

    ‘Obviously this is only the beginning, the real test will be in Egypt later this year but for now we can be proud of returning to the competition after failing to qualify in 2017.

    ‘On a personal level, I am happy to have played the entire match. I look forward to building on this performance and play more crucial games for my country.’

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