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

Football | Bafana Bafana

May Mahlangu © DStv Online

May, Rantie, Xulu to miss Lesotho trip



Bafana Bafana will be without Sweden-based midfielder May Mahlangu and striker Tokelo Rantie as well Russia-based defender Siyanda Xulu in the international friendly match against Lesotho on Sunday at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, Lesotho.

Mahlangu and Rantie will be playing for their clubs on Saturday, while Xulu is a late call-up who replaced the injured Siboniso Gaxa. The trio is expected in South Africa on Monday in time to travel to Cameroon with the national team.

The three players were notable absentees at Bafana Bafana’s first training session held at the Germiston Stadium on Thursday. Twenty one players reported for national team duty including overseas-based defender Anele Ngcongca, midfielder Dean Furman and defender Ricardo Nunes.

South Africa travels to Yaounde, Cameroon on Tuesday to play the first of two Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers. In the first match Bafana Bafana face the Central African Republic (CAR) on 8 June. The second clash will be against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa a week later on 16 June at the National Stadium.

Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund is not perturbed that the players could be fatigued after a long and gruelling season.

“The players are a little bit tired but that can be expected at the end of a long season. So we have devised a training programme that will ensure that we don’t burn them out but have them ready for the two crucial matches against CAR and Ethiopia. That’s the situation and we can’t change that but I am positive they will be on top of their game by the time we face CAR. We can’t look for excuses as the players around the world have been playing just as many games,” said Igesund.

This video is not available in your region

At the first training session, the Bafana Bafana mentor was working on possible combinations following a spate of injuries that have rocked the national team. Kagisho Dikgacoi (who has not been replaced), Siboniso Gaxa and Tsepo Masilela (replaced by Nunes) all withdrew from the squad before the start of the camp.

“Injuries happen all the time in football and I am not one to complain about injured players. So we are working on combinations especially in defence where the players haven’t really played together in the national team. Of course we want to win the match against Lesotho but the most important thing is to get the combinations right and take the confidence to the matches against CAR and Ethiopia.

“Nthete and Mathoho have played together at Bloemfontein Celtic and Mathoho and Mashamaite play together at Chiefs – but that doesn’t mean we should go that route, we cannot afford guess work in that department. We have to make sure we get it right. The truth is whatever combination we use might or might not work against Lesotho, but we must get it right for the CAR and Ethiopia matches,” added Igesund.

“I believe we have players that are capable of holding their own in the national team, it’s just a matter of getting those combinations right. But yes it is trying times for us, and the guys will have put up their hands and given us a good showing.”

Bafana Bafana leave for Lesotho on Friday after their training session in the morning.

They will be minus the eight Kaizer Chiefs players in the squad as they will be attending their season-end club awards which will take place on Friday night.

“It is important for the players to be at the prize giving. They have worked hard all season and deserve to be recognised by their club and sponsors. I want the players to be there and they also want to be there. After a meeting I held with their club we decided this was the best solution. The players will join us in Lesotho on Saturday morning, so they won’t miss any training session as we are only training in the afternoon,” concluded the Bafana Bafana coach.

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



John Dykes
The beginning of the end
Saturday’s Showdown at the Bridge has been described as being either the start of this season’s...

Neil Tovey
Bafana hit speed bump
I kept hearing that Bafana Bafana could win Afcon 2015. From the first whistle, I guarded against...

Emeka Enyadike
Mali, Guinea and the curse of Mongono
“We now need to respect the rules, we don’t have choice. We are going to shake before the draw, as...

Carol Radull
TIAF - This is African Football
I love big competitions because before they start everyone has something to say about how the...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The football hasn't been great thus far
It is easy for some of us who are proudly African and who were brought up on Afcon tournaments down...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ex Bafana coach blasts refs
A rant by an ex Bafana Bafana coach at the Asian Federation Cup in Australia has earned him a...