Bafana’s big hurdle in Germany

2010-04-20 13:50

Bafana Bafana face a major hurdle on Thursday when they line up

against tough-as-teak 2010 World Cup side North Korea in a training match in

Germany.

The clash was finally confirmed yesterday after days of uncertainty

about whether it will go ahead after being cancelled on Friday, only to be

reinstated again on Sunday.

Team spokesperson Matlhomola Morake confirmed that the Koreans have

agreed to play Bafana in Germany instead of Spain where they are holding a

training camp in preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Initially Korea ordered Bafana to travel to Spain for the match but

head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira refused, leaving the Asians no choice but to

compromise, as they need game time.

However, the venue and time for this clash was yet to be named with

Bafana manager, Sipho Nkumane, said to be running around the city inspecting

stadiums that will be suitable for a match of that magnitude.

Morake also could not say when the Koreans would arrive in Germany

with most flights having been grounded in Europe as a result of the volcanic ash

cloud.

Thursday was the day when Bafana were scheduled to play Bundesliga

side FC Nuremberg but the club pulled out.

Estonia, a side based in Russia, lie in waiting for Bafana also for

a training match against Parreira’s charges this Saturday before they complete

their tour with another game against China on April 28.

During Sunday and yesterday’s training sessions, Parreira

concentrated more on high intensity training and the players played games

against each other in half-ground in an effort to build on to their “two touch”

philosophy, which the Brazilian thinks will make them special during the world

soccer spectacle.

New kids on the block – goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters, striker Katlego

Mashego and Siyabonga Nomvethe – have adapted well and are raring for tomorrow’s

game where they could be shinning diamonds for the country.

Teko Modise, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Surprise Moriri, Reneilwe

Letsholonyane, Katlego Mphela and Lance Davids were a marvel to watch.

Siyanda Xulu, Lucas Thwala, Bongani Khumalo and Thabo Nthethe also

look set to have impressed Parreira as he continuously put them together during

practice to strengthen his defence.

Bafana so far look like they have found direction, but only the

results of the friendlies will determine their progress.



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