Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Bafana Bafana

Katlego Mphela © Backpagepix

Sangweni scare, Mphela pumped up



Bafana Bafana defender Siyabonga Sangweni has hurt his ankle ahead of the side's opening Group A 2014 World Cup soccer qualifier against Ethiopia in Rustenburg, on Sunday.

Sangweni suffered the injury in the morning training session on Tuesday. The extent of his injury would be known only later in the evening.

"He's going for a scan in the afternoon, and will miss the afternoon training session," said team spokesman Matlhomola Morake.

"We will await for the doctor [Paul Maphoto] to give us feedback on the latest situation."

Sangweni, who has had an outstanding season for Premiership champions Orlando Pirates, is expected to partner Morgan Gould in central defence in the tie – if he is fit.

Meanwhile, Bafana's preparations for the weekend encounter were still in meticulous mode, with top striker Katlego Mphela stating plans of unlocking the "stubborn" Ethiopian defence at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The east Africans, ranked 138th in the world, are a plucky unit that can halt Bafana's ambitions.

They had an impressive run in the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, and despite not qualifying, earned a credible 2-2 draw against Nigeria in one of the fixtures.

Ethiopia finished third in the campaign, behind the west Africans and Guinea, who progressed through to the finals.

"They are stubborn at the back, and we cannot underestimate them," the Mamelodi Sundowns player said.

"Because of the past results and the pressure on us, six points [including next week's game against Botswana in Gaborone] are non-negotiable.

"We all know goal scoring has been a problem, but I believe with time we will get it right.

HEALTHY COMPETITION FOR STRIKERS

"There is a healthy competition for strikers, which is good, with Siyabonga Nomvethe and Eleazar Rodgers doing well in the league."

Mphela, who is also in search of his best form after an average club season, noted the Black Lions' potential prowess upfront.

They will be led by his one-time SuperSport United teammate, Fikru Tefera, who also worked under Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane in his time with the Tshwane side.

To Bafana's credit, and despite the poor results, the team has mastered the art of playing swift football.

"We have to move the ball very quickly to open up space for ourselves," he said.

"I think they [Ethiopia] are a dangerous team. For them to be where they are now, participating in the group stages, they did well."

While Belgian-based wingback Anele Ngcongca has little information on Ethiopia, he expects a hard-running fixture in a crucial must-win game for the hosts.

After Bafana's dismal showing in the Afcon qualifiers, the pressure is on them to start delivering performances ahead of next year's continental showpiece.

"There is always pressure [to perform]," Ngcongca said.

"First of all, we are playing a team that I think we don't know much about. They know more about us. It will not be an easy game. What I do know about Ethiopia is that they have a lot of energy and are fighters.

"But let's hope we come out on top on the day."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Rodgers must focus on the league
Many footballers arriving in the Barclays Premier League have been warned of second-season syndrome.

Sunday Oliseh
Dortmund's winning formula is killing it
I sat in Signal Iduna Park to watch Dortmund over-run Arsenal and wondered, how long will it take...

John Dykes
A Gooner or a gonner?
An International Break can do funny things to the mind. Mine, for instance was heavily engaged this...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Why can’t soccer be like rugby?
Sport is supposed to be sport; something we all do for the love of it, for recreational purposes,...

Neil Tovey
Backing Coetzee for Bafana
After three Afcon 2015 qualifiers, Bafana Bafana deserve credit for keeping as many clean sheets...

Carol Radull
Let's criticise to improve Kenyan football
Sometimes my fellow Kenyans make me angry. We are the kings of Africa when it comes to criticism,...