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Morocco v South Africa

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Furman: Midfield focus is imperative

Furman: Midfield focus is imperative

Bafana Bafana need a point and Morocco must win, this reality makes this Group A fixture an intense, must-see game for all South Africans.

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Bafana stepped up five gears after a lacklustre draw in their opening Africa Cup of Nations match against tournament debutants Cape Verde, while Morocco have not lived up the potential their young squad has.

The Atlas Lions drew with Angola and Cape Verde and have two points to show for it while Bafana has four. A draw is good enough for the hosts while Morocco has to win to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Bafana will miss the services of Lehlohonolo Majoro, who scored the second goal in their win against Angola, while the Atlas Lions will miss playmaker Younes Belhanda due to a suspension.

Still, the Moroccans have Liverpool's Oussama Assaidi and Getafe's Abdelaziz Barrada on the wings to look to for attacking flair.

At last year's tournament they exited after the first round and the bitterness of that experience should encourage them to do better - albeit against the toughest opponents they could face at this stage.

Bafana's strength lies in the middle of the park with Dean Furman, the Oldham Athletic anchorman made timely tackles and simple passes (against Angola) that allowed strikers Tokelo Rantie and Bernard Parker to persistently attack and there is no doubt everyone's eyes will be on the Cape Town-born midfield general to influence the match.

Another advantage they have is the the Durban crowd who gave their boundless energy to Bafana, who returned that favour with a passable performance, more of this (vuvuzelas and singing) will be required on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 7pm at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Posted: 25/01/13 14:54

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