South Africa defender Anele Ngcongca has revealed his Senegalese club mate Kara Mboji has expressed concern over Group C opponents more especially, Bafana Bafana’s “pace and skill”, has reported.

The two countries will meet in Group C of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, along with continental giants Algeria and Ghana.

Ngcongca, who plays for Racing Genk in Belgium, said: “It is indeed the ‘Group of Death’, but then again on the field it’s 11 players each, if we go there with a positive mentality, we will get positive results. I saw all three teams in the qualifiers and they did very well, just like us, which means it is going to be tough for every team in the group.

“I was talking to my teammate Kara Mboji, who played in all the qualifiers for Senegal and he says he is worried by South Africa’s pace and skill. They watched our matches in the qualifiers too so they know what we are capable of, which shows they are also worried of us.”

Ngcongca feels it is crucial Bafana get off to strong start in the tournament, taking place in Equatorial Guinea from January 17 to February 8.

“We will have to be ready for everything they throw at us because we want to make South Africa proud at the tournament. We know the strength of West Africans, with their physique, so we will have to stick to what we know best, not go into a physical battle with them as we will come second best. We must concentrate on our passing game and quick counter attacks.

“Judging from the qualifiers, we could be the team to beat as we finished unbeaten compared to the other three who each lost a match.

“But for us, the first game will be very important as it will set the tone for the remainder of the tournament. You don’t want to play catch-up early on as it puts you at a disadvantage. Winning the opening match just makes life so easy, so we must strive for that.”