Parreira’s pick reflected in Bafana team for Nigeria

2008-05-21 00:00

THE hand of former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was clearly visible in the squad named yesterday by new coach Joel Santana for the African Nations Cup qualifier against Nigeria in Abuja on June 1.

Santana arrived from Brazil on Sunday to take up his post, and the squad was put together by assistant coaches Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane with Parreira’s input. All 11 players who started in Bafana’s 3-0 friendly victory over 26th-ranked Paraguay — have been named.

The only probable change to the starting line-up is of Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar for Teko Modise on the right. Pienaar has recovered from the injury that kept him out against Paraguay.

Should Pienaar start on the right, the SA coaching staff will have a tough choice at playmaker. Modise has been the incumbent but has appeared jaded recently, while Djurgaardens utility player Lance Davids shone there against Paraguay.

The squad comprises 25 players to cover for a few niggling injuries.

Santana stressed the importance of qualifying for the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola.

“We must qualify for Angola because it would provide us a great opportunity to have a tough competition just before the World Cup a few months later,” the coach said.

“Our attitude towards every game we play must be positive. A win against Nigeria will not mean we will win the 2010 World Cup, and likewise a loss against Nigeria will also not mean the end of the world.”

Santana will take his first Bafana training session at Germiston Stadium on Monday afternoon, ahead of the team’s departure for Nigeria on Friday next week. South Africa play a training match against Swaziland on Wednesday, while Nigeria play a friendly against Austria in Frankfurt on the same day.

BAFANA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Moeneeb Josephs (Wits University)

Defenders: Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers, England), Bongani Khumalo (Supersport United), Siboniso Gaxa (Supersport), Mokete Tsotsetsi (Chiefs), Bryce Moon (Ajax Cape Town), Bevan Fransman (Moroka Swallows), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates), Benson Mhlongo (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Lance Davids (Djurgardens, Sweden), Macbeth Sibiya (Ruban Kazan, Russia), Delron Buckley (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Surprise Moriri (Sundowns), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Gerald Sibeko (Chiefs), Teko Modise (Pirates), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs)

Strikers: Excellent Walaza (Pirates), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Benni McCarthy (Blackburn), Katlego Mashego (SuperSport)

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