Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba says it is crucial to start off positively when they face Burkina Faso in their World Cup qualifiers at Stade Du 4 Aout.
South Africa takes on the Stallions in their opening match of the World Cup Russia 2018 Qualifiers on October 8 in Ouagadougou.
The Bafana Bafana coach has made several changes to the squad that played against Mauritania and Egypt earlier this month.
However, Mashaba insists that Bafana Bafana needs to get a positive result in their opening match against the Stallions.
‘It is imperative that we have a flying start against Burkina Faso, we all saw what happened with the 2017 AFCON qualifiers that the first match is always the most important one as it sets the tone for the rest of the qualifiers,’ Mashaba said.
‘Anything other than a win in Burkina Faso will have us playing catch up and it is never an easy task for any country.’
Mashaba says he is confident that his side can overcome both Burkina Faso and Ghana within the space of three days.
‘We must also ensure that we win our home games as anything less will not be enough to get us to Russia. We know we are carrying the hopes of the entire nation as we embark on these qualifiers, which go hand in hand with pressure, but then again it is part of the territory,’ he added.
‘But we are feeling very positive about the mission ahead. We have tweaked the team a bit to give it some freshness and we are confident we will do well.’
Kick-off has been set for 20:00.