BAFANA Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund has announced a 25-man squad to play in the forthcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Central African Republic (CAR) and Ethiopia next month.
The first of the two World Cup qualifiers against CAR in Yaoundé, Cameroon will be played on June 8 at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo (kick off 3pm) with the second match against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa pencilled for June 16 (kick off 3pm SA time).
Despite Bafana having been ravaged by injuries to its core players especially in defence, Igesund has kept the nucleus of the squad. He has brought in seven players who were not part of the personnel that faced CAR in Cape Town in March.
Injuries have ruled out defenders Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Sangweni, Siyanda Xulu, and Thabo Matlaba, as well as striker Dino Ndlovu while Daylon Claasen who is not attached to any club is out. Midfielder Lerato Chabangu has also been left out.
Called up to the squad are defenders Tsepo Masilela, Tefo Mashamaite, Siboniso Gaxa (all Kaizer Chiefs), as well as Bevan Fransman of Supersport United.
Also returning to the Bafana Bafana fold after a long absence are Thandani Ntshumayelo and Tlou Segolela (both Orlando Pirates), Richard Henyekane of Mamelodi Sundowns and Katlego Mashego of Moroka Swallows.
The two qualifiers are part of Bafana Bafana’s “Road to Brazil” campaign.
“These are two very important matches for us, and even though we are missing a few players through injuries or loss of form, things are looking very positive. The players I have selected for these matches are highly technical and ready for the challenge. They also know what is at stake. I am quite confident that we will pull through,” said Igesund.
“These are huge encounters for us, and as for the CAR match, the most important thing is that we must not lose this game. If we don’t win then we need to have a draw so we can stay in the race because we still have to meet and hopefully beat Ethiopia the following week who are top of the group with two points ahead.”
The Bafana Bafana mentor believes that even though playing away, he will have to stick to his offensive strategy in order to get positive results.
“We beat CAR convincingly in Cape Town in March, and we want to continue with our attacking game like we did back then and I believe playing in a neutral venue will help in that regard. We have to be offensive if we want to get something out of the match against CAR or we will be putting ourselves in a very tight corner.
“The following week will be key against Ethiopia; of course depending on how they would have played against Botswana,” added Igesund.
Bafana will meet for camp on May 29 to start preparations for this assignment and will leave for Cameroon on June 4 assemble for camp on May 29 at SAFA House at midday before departing for Lesotho at 12.30pm.
BAFANA BAFANA CAMP PROGRAMME:
May 29 – Assemble for camp
May 29 –June 3 Camp in Johannesburg
(Training at the Germiston Stadium)
June 4 – Depart for Cameroon
June 4-7 Camp in Cameroon
JUNE 8 CAR VS SOUTH AFRICA
Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo
4pm (SA time)
June 9-13 Camp in Cameroon
June 14- Depart for Ethiopia
June 15 – Training in Ethiopia
JUNE 16 ETHIOPIA VS SOUTH AFRICA
3pm (SA time)
17 June – Return to South Africa
BAFANA BAFANA squad v CAR ÐIOPIA:
NO. PLAYER’S NAME CLUB
1. ITUMELENG KHUNE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
2. WAYNE SANDILANDS Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
3. SENZO MEYIWA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
4. ERIC MATHOHO Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
5. TEFO MASHAMAITE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
6. THABO NTHETHE Bloemfontein Celtic (SA)
7. ANELE NGCONGCA Racing Genk FC (Belgium)
8. BEVAN FRANSMAN Supersport United FC (SA)
9. TSHEPO MASILELA Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
10. SIBONISO GAXA Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
11. TEBOGO LANGERMAN Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
12. KAGISHO DIKGACOI Crystal Palace FC (Eng)
13. DEAN FURMAN Doncaster Rovers FC (Eng)
14. RENEILWE LETSHOLONYANE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
15. OUPA MANYISA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
16. MAY MAHLANGU Helsingborg IF (Sweden)
17. THANDANI NTSHUMAYELO Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
18. RICHARD HENYEKANE Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
19. THUSO PHALA Platinum Stars FC (SA)
20. SIPHIWE TSHABALALA Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
21. DAINE KLATE Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
22. TLOU SEGOLELA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
23. BERNARD PARKER Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
24. TOKELO RANTIE Malmo FF (Sweden)
25. KATLEGO MASHEGO Moroka Swallows FC (SA)