Coach explains his plan

2016-08-24 06:00

EPHRAIM MASHABA, coach of the South African national football team, has explained the thinking behind his squad selection for the matches against Mauritania and Egypt.

Bafana Bafana will conclude their failed 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying campaign against Mauritania on 2 September before hosting Egypt in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge in Soweto five days later.

“It has been very difficult to pick the team, because most of the players are still busy with pre-season (training) and only a handful have matches under their belts,” said Mashaba.

Mashaba insisted the clash with Mauritania was not meaningless, given the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

“There is no match that doesn’t serve a purpose. We are fortunate to have two back-to-back matches, which will assist us greatly in preparing for the all-important start of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia qualifiers. We are away to Burkina Faso in the opening match less than a month after we play Egypt.

“Soon thereafter, we will host Senegal. The good thing is the matches are just a month apart and by that time our players will have gained momentum from the league season.” –

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