Since ‘Shabba’’s previous appearance in January 2014, Bafana have only qualified for one major competition, the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations under former coach Shakes Mashaba.
The Kaizer Chiefs star believes Bafana should be regularly competing at the AFCON and FIFA World Cup with the amount of quality there is in South Africa.
Bafana are determined to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 2002 when they take on Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium tonight and again on Tuesday in Dakar. Six points will guarantee Stuart Baxter’s men a spot at the world’s biggest football competition.
“It has been slow progress [since the last time he played]. I believe with the quality we have in the country, we should play [regularly], whether it’s AFCON or World Cup. Now I believe we are on the right track and it’s in our hands. Another opportunity has presented itself for us to compete and let South Africa qualify for the World Cup,” said the Amakhosi veteran.
The 33-year-old, who is on the bench for tonight’s match, is confident the squad Baxter has selected can win the two matches against the Lions of Teranga.
“Definitely. We are in a situation where we are in control. It’s in our hands. We don’t have to wait for so and so to drop points for us to qualify. It’s on the table – you win two games and you are through. It’s a tough hurdle, but I believe we have the quality and we have strong ammunition.
“This is a big game. It requires all the players to bring their A-game. This is a great test and we have to face it. Every player wants to play in such games.”
Tshabalala, who participated in the 2010 World Cup, would like to leave a legacy and help youngsters grow in the national team.
“It has always been an honour to represent the country. Even though I was absent for close to four years, I never closed the chapter. Now that I am here, I am here do my best and, more importantly, help the young ones and leave a legacy.”