Bafana Bafana gearing up to face Spain

By Drum Digital
18 November 2013

Following a groin injury to Kaizer Chiefs defender Tsepo Masilela in the Bafana Bafana camp last Thursday, the door may be open for the Orlando Pirates defender, Thabo Matlaba, to start against Spain.

Bafana will renew their rivalry with the 2010 Soccer World Cup winners in a friendly international at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was reported last week that Mamelodi Sundowns left-back, Tebogo Langerman, would replace Masilela as Matlaba was also injured after being stretched off the field against Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final.

However, Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund confirmed that that the former Free State Stars man has fully recovered for the mouth-watering clash.

“Festival” is most likely to get a starting berth ahead of the Brazilians defender due to his international experience and his top-notch recent form.

Vicente del Bosque and his charges arrived in the country on Sunday and will be looking to keep alive their perfect record against Bafana at the ground they beat the Netherlands 1-0 to be crowned world champions.

It will be the fourth meeting between the two sides having met for the first time at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea.

Spain were 3-2 victors on the night courtesy of Raul Gonzalez Blanco’s brace and Gaizka Mendieta’s free-kick.

Benni McCarthy and Lucas Radebe were on target for Jomo Sono’s men but it was not enough for Bafana to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.

The last time the two teams clashed was in the FIFA Confederations Cup third place playoffs in 2009 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace when Spain also won 3-2. Spain also beat Bafana 2-0 in the group stages of that event.

Igesund will be hoping to use this encounter as part of his preparations for the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

It remains to be seen who will occupy the left-back position for Bafana on Tuesday.

The much talked about clash will commence at 21:00.

- Maano Nekhavhambe - Sport24

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