JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba says he's packed as many as six bags for the African Cup of Nations because he expects his team to go all the way to the final.
Mashaba made his bullish comments Wednesday as his squad departed for warm-up games in Gabon before heading to Equatorial Guinea for the African championship.
Mashaba said "we're confident about it (making the final). Alone, I've got six bags."
Recent history doesn't back up Mashaba's prediction. South Africa didn't get out of its group at the African Cup from 2004-2008 and didn't qualify in 2010 and 2012. It lost in the quarterfinals in 2013 as host.
But Mashaba's team has shown signs of a turnaround. South Africa was impressive in qualifying this time, eliminating defending champion Nigeria.