Bafana need to show progress – Igesund

2013-08-12 17:00

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Bevan Fransman will miss Bafana Bafana’s friendly international against Nigeria this week, while Anele Ngcongca and Tokelo Rantie are yet to arrive for the Durban clash.

SuperSport United captain Fransman has been given time off until Thursday, a day after the Nelson Mandela Challenge, to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

Belgium-based defender Ngcongca and striker Rantie, who plays in Sweden, are expected to arrive in camp on Tuesday morning.

South Africa face the African champions at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, before taking on Burkina Faso in a Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Both matches would give the national coach some much-needed game time ahead of a crucial World Cup qualifier against Botswana.

“It’s obviously preparing for the game against Botswana, that’s the big picture, but this game is also important,” coach Gordon Igesund said in Durban today.

“I would like my team to go out there and beat Nigeria. I think we’re capable of doing that.

“We need to send a message to the rest of world that we are progressing. Nigeria have a quality team, but equally, I believe we also have a quality team.

“I expect the game to be tight, with just one goal separating the two sides.”

After the agreed release of six Orlando Pirates players, due to their Champions League commitments, and withdrawals through injury, Igesund’s initial 28-man group had been cut to 23.

“You’re always going to get those things – players getting injured in competitive matches for their clubs,” Igesund said.

“We’ve got to overcome them and have back-up plans in place, which we have.”

The latest call-up was AmaZulu defender Marc van Heerden after Igesund named two uncapped players last week – Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Bongani Zungu and forward Luyolo Nomandela from Free State Stars – with seven players from the Cosafa Cup squad also selected.

“It’s always difficult to get a team ready in two days, but it’s not only a problem for me, but for every international coach across the world,” he said.

“The good thing is I’ve been here for a year and the bulk of the team, at least 70 to 80 percent, have been with me for that period, which makes things a little easier.”

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