Bafana Bafana

Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo 'happy' to see national team-mates' faces again

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Thulani Hlatshwayo and Kermit Erasmus (Image courtesy from official SAFA website)
Thulani Hlatshwayo and Kermit Erasmus (Image courtesy from official SAFA website)
  • Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo says he is happy to see the faces of his team-mates again.
  • South Africa entertain neighbours Namibia on Thursday and three days later duel Zambia.
  • These international friendly matches are all in preparation for next month's 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe.

Ahead of international friendly matches, Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo admits he is "happy" to be able to see the faces of his national team-mates again.

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South Africa meet neighbours Namibia at Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Thursday (kick-off is at 18:00) and three days later they duel 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Zambia at the same venue (Sunday, 11 October).

The national men's senior side was scheduled for a camp in late March ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, but the rise of Covid-19 brought a halt to those plans.

And now, nearly six months later, Bafana Bafana are set to play their first match in nearly a year.

Bafana Bafana last took on Sudan in an AFCON qualifier in November, a match South Africa won 1-0 courtesy of a lone Lebogang Phiri goal. 

"I'm happy to reunite after four or five months after having not been together. I remember the team was called up before the (coronavirus) pandemic struck us," the defender told media.

"Even with the phones, we communicate together with everyone. But seeing one another in camp... the mood is nice, and everyone is happy.

"Everyone is happy to be back in the national team, and to be playing again. Unfortunately, the fans won't be there to be watching us (in the stadiums) But I am happy to see the guys."

Meanwhile, South Africa will also play Sao Tome and Principe next month (Thursday, 12 November) at FNB Stadium and travel away for the return game four days later (Monday, 16 November).

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