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

Football | Bafana Bafana

Tsepo Masilela © Backpagepix

Igesund ponders backline conundrum



Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says it would be easier to manage the national football team's growing list of casualties if they were spread around the field.

Defenders Siboniso Gaxa (hamstring) and Tsepo Masilela (knee), and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi (calf muscle), were all ruled out this week ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Three other defenders – Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Sangweni and Thabo Matlaba – had all been unavailable due to injuries when Igesund named his squad earlier this month, and the coach was left facing a conundrum in his team's defence.

“Obviously it's very disappointing to have so many injuries, but what's more disappointing is that they are all in the same area," Igesund said on Wednesday.

“Going to our match against Central African Republic (CAR), I'm going to have a completely new backline."

Igesund called up Siyanda Xulu, who is returning from injury, and Ricardo Nunes as backline cover.

He did not feel, however, that the injury to Dikgacoi was as serious, as Bafana had enough cover in the midfield.

“I haven't called up a replacement for KG because I've got enough players in those areas to do the job,” he said.

Igesund said the team's first-choice defenders had proved their worth in the home qualifier against CAR in Cape Town in March, with Bafana securing a 2-0 victory.

“The backline before [the injuries], was starting to gel very nicely and were well organised. We kept a clean sheet against CAR."

He nonetheless remained confident that they had enough quality in defence to stand firm in their three upcoming international matches.

Bafana face Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday, before they square up against Central African Republic, in neutral territory in Cameroon, and Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, in crucial 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

“I'm very confident in the players I've called on and I'm sure we will give a good account of ourselves," Igesund said.

“When one door closes, it's an opportunity for another [player].

“In these difficult times I know the players will rise to the occasion.”

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

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...