BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund had a fruitful first training session yesterday at People’s Park, in Durban in which all but three of the 24-man squad took part in training in preparation for the potentially explosive Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The match is scheduled to take place tomorrow and kicks off at 8.15pm
Defender Bevan Fransman has been released from Wednesday’s match due to personal
matters and will join the squad on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s match against Africa Cup of Nations runners up Burkina Faso.
Belgium-based duo of Anele Ngcongca and Tokelo Rantie are expected to land in the country todaybut England-based midfielder, Dean Furman met up with his teammates in
Johannesburg yesterday morning.
Leftback Marc van Heerden, who replaced the injured Innocent Mdledle has also arrived in camp.
Both Bafana and Nigeria arrived in Durban yesterday and were welcomed by a group of dancers and school children wanting to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
As part of their social responsibilities, part of Bafana squad visited an Absa branch in the city centre, while the other visited an SAB plant.
“This game is important to us and it will be nice to go out there and beat Nigeria, and I believe we are capable of doing that. We need to send out a strong message to the rest of the continent that we are progressing.
“Nigeria is without doubt a quality team, but we also have lot of quality and it will not be an easy game for both teams. In my view only one goal will separate the two teams,” said Igesund at a press conference in Durban.
His sentiments were echoed by his captain, Itumeleng Khune.
“This is going to be a nice challenge for us. Winning this match will put us in a better position on the FIFA rankings. We have to perform to the best of our ability because we are meeting a really formidable side,” said Khune.
“I would also like to appeal to the fans to come in numbers to support us as they have been doing all along. We believe with our fans behind us, we can go all the way.”
Meanwhile, tickets for the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge clash are already on sale.
The tickets are selling for R50 and R100 and can be bought at Computicket, Shoprite,
Checkers and Shoprite/Checkers outlets around the country.
Nigeria squad to face Bafana Bafana:
Goalkeepers: Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel), Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria)
Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria), Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal),
James Okwuosa (Chippa United, SA), Gege Soriola (Free State Stars, SA),
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea, England), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga, Norway), Victor Moses (Chelsea, England), John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio, Italy), Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England), Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia) and Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo, Netherlands)