By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
BAFANA Bafana coach, Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane says the team’s latest improvement on both CAF and FIFA Rankings will come with tough challenges ahead for the team.
Speaking during the announcement for this 23 member-team to play Egypt away in the second leg of CAF’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Mosimane said it is good that the team has made some good improvement on the rankings that saw Bafana moved to 38 on FIFA, and fourth on the continent will come will a lot of responsibilities.
“Our top five on the continent will obviously not go down well with the likes of Nigeria and Cameroon, therefore we will have to work hard to maintain these two positions.” pointed out Mosmiane.
About the match away to Egypt, Mosimane who has called six players from Shakes Mashaba’s national Under-23 team in the likes of Andile Jali, Happy Jele, Tlou Segolela (all from Orlando Pirates), George Maluleka, Thulani Serero (both from Ajax Cape) said they are anticipating a tough outing in Cairo.
“This is going to be a very difficult match for us as Egypt want nothing else other than a win, and we are therefore expecting a tough one more so because they will be playing in their own back-yard,” said Mosimane who has also recalled defender, Bevan Fransman from Israel’s Hapoel Tel Aviv and fully recovered Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel) to the team heading for Cairo.
Apart from Fransman and Masilela, Mosimane has also made several changes to the squad that defeated Tanzania 1-0 away in a friendly international two week ago which sees uncapped AmaZulu’s goalkeeper, Mbongeni Mzimela being added to the team.
“The friendly against Tanzania has provided us with a good training even though most of the players played there will not travel with us to Egypt. We showed with that match that there are places up for grabs and any player can play for the national team,” added Mosimane.
The team to face Egypt:
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mzimela (AmaZulu)
Defenders: Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Fransman (Tel Aviv), Masilela (Maccafi Haifa), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse FC, Belgium), Tom Mzivukile, Siyabonga Sangweni (both from Golden Arrows), Anele Ngconga (Racing Genk, Belgium), Jele (Pirates)
Midfielders: Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England), Hlompho Kekana (Bloemfontein Celtic), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Sphiwe Tshabalala (both from Kaizer Chiefs), Steven Pienaar (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Serero, Maluleka (both from Ajax), Jali (Pirates)
Strikers: Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Holland), Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), David Somma (Leeds United, England) and Tlou Segolela (Pirates).