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Football | Bafana Bafana

Eric Mathoho, Siphiwe Tshabalala and May Mahlangu © Safa Media

Shabba concern for Igesund

Bafana Bafana completed their first training session on Tuesday morning but coach Gordon Igesund would have been slightly worried as midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala did not take part due to injury concerns.

The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder will undergo a scan later this afternoon to ascertain the extent of his knee injury. The team is scheduled to train at the Athlone Stadium at 5pm as they continue preparations for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Central African Republic. The match will be played at the Cape Town Stadium, kick-off at 8:15pm.

Another player who did not participate in the morning session is Kaizer Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho, who had just arrived from Johannesburg as a replacement for Siyabonga Sangweni. May Mahlangu also joined the team in the morning from Sweden with Israeli-based Dino Ndlovu the last player to arrive.

Igesund will hope Shabba’s injury is not too serious to stem the tide of withdrawals from the squad.

Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates midfielder Daine Klate believes Bafana will deal well with the pressure to produce a positive result.

“There’s always pressure,” said Klate at Tuesday’s training session at the Athlone Stadium.

“Even more so now because it’s a must-win game. As footballers we can thrive under pressure. A lot of us in this squad come from clubs where you must win all the time. It’s a good kind of pressure,” he added.

Klate said heis hoping that conditions in Cape Town, where there is always the possibility of wind and a slippery pitch right next to the ocean, will make life difficult for CAR on Saturday night.

“A lot of the guys don’t like to play in Cape Town but we’re used to playing here. We have to use it to our advantage.

“In these types of qualifiers, when you go away, they use all the advantages they have, so we have to do the same. Use everything, wet the field, do whatever we have to.”


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