PREVIEW: Ivory Coast vs South Africa

AFCON hosts Ivory Coast will welcome South Africa to Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan for an international friendly encounter on Tuesday evening.


The Elephants are coming off the back of a mouth-watering encounter with Morocco where they shared the spoils after a 1-1 draw. The match saw Borussia Dortmund forward Sebastien Haller scoring his sixth goal for his new national side since switching allegiance from France.

But the Ivorians will certainly fancy a win here in order to head into their World Cup Qualifiers with confident heads, as well as a clear measure of their progress with AFCON fast approaching.

They boast a star-studded squad with vast experience provided by the likes of Galatasaray’s Wilfried Zaha, who is expected to start against South Africa. Haller should retain his spot in the number-nine role, while Simon Adingra will be hoping to hear his name called to complete the attacking trio, potentially in place of Jonathan Bamba.


Coach Hugo Broos could not conceal his frustrations after his men were held to a goalless draw by Eswatini in their friendly match at the almost empty FNB Stadium on Friday afternoon.

And rightfully so; we all expected Bafana to easily thump their neighbors following a week of positive news and progress in their camp, albeit with a few significant players pulling out due to injuries and personal reasons.

Orlando Pirates forward Zakhele Lepasa was the last to be withdrawn from the squad, with a knee overuse injury being the cause according to Bafana team doctor Thabo Maleka.

However, Bafana put on an excellent performance in the 2023 COSAFA Cup, where they won Group A, which featured Botswana, Eswatini and Namibia, and went on to claim the bronze medal in the competition.

Since then, Hugo Broos’s side have played three friendlies, winning one and drawing two, including a stalemate against Eswatini over the weekend, though notably, the visitors have not conceded a goal in over 360 minutes of football dating back to mid-July.

Verdict: Ivory Coast

From a neutral perspective, a free-flowing game would be ideal between these two sides and a classic advertisement of African football is on the cards here. However, Bafana have been very inconsistent over the past few years and their recent draw with Eswatini almost sums up their form.

The Ivorians will edge Bafana in individual quality and determination as the game goes on, and I see them claiming a win at home.

Written by Mlu Mdletshe