BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund will have only have 16 players to choose from when his side faces Lesotho in the third place play-off of the 2013 COSAFA Cup due to injuries and suspensions.
South Africa was already depleted going to the semi-final clash against hosts Zambia following the withdrawal of defender Bevan Fransman from the squad due to personal reasons.
Edward Manqele has failed to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in the opening clash against Namibia, while striker Katlego Mashego is suspended after collecting his second yellow card against Zambia. Both Manqele and Mashego will not be available for selection against Lesotho.
Further bad news for Igesund and his technical team is the unavailability of Bloemfontein Celtic’s Ruzaigh Gamildien who injured his hand in the match against the home team. Gamildien fell awkwardly after a collision with a defender and will also not be able to face Lesotho.
Igesund is gutted about the situation but agrees that the team must soldier on. “It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in a situation where we have only 16 players to pick from for this important match where we can still finish third and bring back a bronze medal.
“Gamildien hurt his hand badly, Manqele is carrying an injury and there is no point in using him. We don’t want to risk him because it is important that we keep a good relationship between us and the clubs. Mashego is suspended and Fransman couldn’t join us here in Zambia, but as they say in show business ‘the show must go on.’ We will soldier on as we are close to the finish line. It means I am forced to make a few changes to the team to ensure we get something out of this tournament,” said Igesund.
The Bafana and Lesotho clash will be played tomorrow at the Levy Mwanamasa Stadium and kick-off is at 1pm.