South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan is anticipating a fierce battle for supremacy with Ghana when the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers get underway in November.
Friday’s draw pitted the two nations together in Group C, which also includes Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe or Mauritius.
The top two teams at the end of the series will secure tickets for the final tournament in Cameroon.
“I would expect us to qualify,” Jordaan said, as reported by IOL.
“I think that we can qualify. There is no reason for us not to. What is the issue is if we will end up on top or second.
“That is what we have to deal with, with Ghana. I think that we have the team. We have to see.
“But this tournament (Afcon 2019) also showed that there are no easy matches on the African continent any more. There is no small nation in the continent any more.
“Benin came with the perception that they are a small country. They walked away as one of the major forces on the African continent, and so did Guinea.
“Who would have dreamt that Madagascar could face stiff challenges and reach the quarterfinals? The notion when you look at the group that there are small and big team, that’s out of the question.
“We have to work hard and we have to be here again. We have made our mark here, we must be back. We can bring a stronger, better team because we do have the players.”
Ghana and South Africa met only last month as part of preparations for this year’s Afcon – the game ending 0-0 in the United Arab Emirates.
Their last encounter in a qualifying campaign was for qualification for the 2006 Fifa World Cup, where the Black Stars emerged top of the group, recording back-to-back wins over Bafana Bafana in the process.
South Africa, Afcon winners in 1996, reached the quarter-final at this year’s event in Egypt while four-time champions Ghana exited earlier in the Round of 16.