Full Bafana squad in training despite injury concerns

2011-08-29 14:18

Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane enjoyed the rare luxury of a full squad at the team’s first training session ahead of their crucial Group G 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger in Niamey on Sunday afternoon.

Left back Tsepo Masilela, arriving from Spain this morning, was the last player to link up with the 24-member squad in camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg.

The are still injury concerns around goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, who has problems with his shoulder, midfielders Teko Modise and Oupa Manyisa, both suffering from ankle injuries, and Tlou Segolela (left knee). They will all undergo MRI scans.

The players were involved in tough action over the past two weekends, playing in the MTN8 semi-finals, with midweek league matches sandwiched in between, but team doctor Ephraim Nematswerani expected them to be fit for the West African journey.

“The season has just started with games coming in thick and fast for Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town in the last seven days,” said Nematswerani.

“No wonder we are sitting here with a number of knocks.

“Teko has been declared fit to carry on with camp while Moeneeb’s shoulder has not recovered fully from rehab but there will be further MRI investigations later today before we can make final decisions.”

The match against the Nigerians would see Bafana qualify for next year’s continental showpiece in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon if they won and Sierra Leone drew or lost against an under-strength Egypt side in Freetown on the same weekend.

Mosimane said his charges did not want to leave their qualification fate to their last group match against Sierra Leone – a team he has described as “dark horses” – in Port Elizabeth next month.

Even though Niger beat both the Lone Stars and the Egyptian Pharaohs at home, they did so without displaying any dominance over their opponents.
“In my opinion, in the two games they won in Niamey, they were not the stronger team,” Mosimane said.

“It’s tricky because they didn’t show any dominance but won their games.

“They scored against the run of play when they beat Egypt, and were 1-0 down against Sierra Leone before scoring three goals in the last 20 minutes.

“But we’ll see what happens because I don’t think they’ll want to leave it to their last match against Egypt in Cairo to get their maximum points.”

South Africa will be banking on prolific scorer Katlego Mphela to find the net, who may operate as a lone man upfront with Thulani Serero playing as his shadow striker.

Regular strike partner Bernard Parker could start from the bench but will have to rise to the occasion after a less than fluent start as the new signing at Chiefs.

Bafana have boasted a strong defence and are yet to concede a goal in their four matches thus far, while earning credible 0-0 away draws in testing conditions in both Sierra Leone and Egypt.

The regular defensive foursome of Masilela, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni and Anele Ngcongca – barring injuries – should pick themselves on their past performances.

“I hope we will score early because scoring first will be much better for us,” said Mosimane.

“I also think that our defence is stable. We have enough ammunition to keep them from scoring and did well in our two away matches.

“Our ambition is to qualify without conceding a goal.

“They will look to be competitive having suspended their league so the players could have a training camp preparing for us.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.