Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has announced a squad of 26 players for the upcoming ORANGE Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2015 qualifiers against Congo (Brazzaville), retaining the bulk of the team that successfully did duty against Sudan and Nigeria recently.
South Africa travel to Pointe Noire where they will play against Congo on Saturday, 11 October 2014, and again meet the same team on Wednesday, 15 October at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane (20h05 kick off).
”We needed back-up in some positions due to the unavailability of some players, but it is more or less the same team that played Sudan and Nigeria – it’s a question of if it ain’t broken why fix it?
“We are looking forward to the two matches and it will be important to do well away but there is no pressure, we take one match at a time. The good thing is that we play them in our backyard almost immediately after the first match and we don’t have to wait for weeks to get it out of the way,” said Mashaba.
The Bafana Bafana mentor is aware of the threat that is posed by Congo who defeated both Nigeria and Sudan in the first two matches and lead the Group at this early stage.
Congo has six points, followed by Bafana Bafana with four points. Nigeria is third with one point while Sudan still has to collect points.
“It’s going to be a tough match no doubt about it. I saw the way they played against Nigeria; they are a good side. It is crucial for us to try and win these two matches – away and at home – and we should almost be near qualification if we achieve that.
“But Congo is on form and they will not want to give away their top spot easily, so we have to fight to swop places. So we can’t take them for granted as they can be very dangerous,” added Mashaba.
Bafana Bafana assemble for camp on Sunday, 5 October in Johannesburg, then move to the Rustenburg at the Royal Marang Sports Complex.
South Africa departs for Congo on Thursday, 9 October and on their return, fly directly to Polokwane on Sunday, 12 October.
Goalkeepers: Senzo Meyiwa, Daren Keet, Dumisani Msibi
Defenders: Anele Ngcongca, Ayabulela Magqwaka, Sibusiso Khumalo, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Eric Mathoho, Thabo Matlaba, Rivaldo Coetzee, Kwanda Mngonyama, Tefu Mashamaite
Midfielders: Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Masango, Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero , Reneilwe Letsholonyane
Strikers: Bongani Ndulula, Tokelo Rantie, David Zulu, Kermit Erasmus, Fagrie Lakay