Bafana are back again in this oil-rich city situated on the shoulders of the Atlantic Ocean, and this time it is a 2015 AFCON qualifier that the hosts need to win to maintain their control of Group A, which they are surprisingly leading after two games.
“There is a possibility of that problem happening again,” says Mashaba in reference to the infamous events that happened ahead and on match day at the Municipal Stadium on April 6, 1997.
Bafana eventually lost that match by two goals scored in the second half of an ugly contest that left some players like Mark Fish looking like they had just done 12 rounds in a boxing ring.
“If you look at the way Congo came in, with due respect they came in via the back door and for them to find themselves where they are, they are going to employ everything to make sure that they quality.
“So we have to expect anything that comes our way but what we need to say is that we are going there to play football. We don’t want players who will go and die on the pitch because we will not have a team. We will go out there and compete and this is what we expect from them,” says Mashaba.
Mashaba maintains that winning in Pointe-Noire remains a huge possibility and that they will be aiming to break down the Congolese with pace.
“It is (possible). They are playing 11 boys and we are also playing 11 young boys. So we will look at using pace. I watched them in their game against Nigeria. They are a very good team and have these combinations. They are quick when going forward, get the ball to the flanks bring it back and then finish off so that is what we need to guard against. We are not going to sit back because it is a reality that we can go and win there,” he says while providing further analysis on this fixture.
“We are going there for a win. I don’t know how many of us have sat and looked at how crucial this game is. Win these two matches our chances of qualifying for 2015 are bright. So for us to go there and sit back then we might be inviting problems for ourselves. We are going to play there but there are things that we need to observe especially these three questions around why, when and how we do things. We want to win this game away so that when we come back at home at least we are comfortable,” says Mashaba.