Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba has named the team that will take on neighbours Zambia in an international friendly match scheduled for Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The match takes place later today (Sunday, 4 January 2015)
Kick-off is at 15h00.
The match is the first phase of preparations for the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 tournament which starts from 17 January to 8 February 2015.
Mashaba has selected the bulk of players who did duty in the qualifiers with Darren Keet in goals, assisted at the back by central defenders Eric Mathoho and Rivaldo Coetzee, while Anele Ngcongca, who will captain the side, and Thabo Matlaba will be the fullbacks.
“This is a very important match for all of us as it is for preparations for AFCON 2015. We did well in the qualifiers and in the last friendly against Cote d’Ivoire, this is also our last match at home before we depart for the tournament so let us leave the country with something to smile about when we are gone.
“We cannot afford to break the momentum we are on now and even though we know that Zambia is a very good side but let’s just go out there and work hard to get a victory that will please all of us, especially our fans who have been behind us all the way,” said Ngcongca.
The midfield has a different look about with Oupa Manyisa, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thamsanqa Sangweni and Mandla Masango given the nod. Tokelo Rantie and Bongani Ndulula have been entrusted with getting goals.
Andile Jali and Patrick Phungwayo have not be considered for the match as they are both nursing knee injuries which are not too serious, but have been left out as a precaution, while Dean Furman is only expected in camp on Monday, 5 January.
Bafana Bafana starting XI vs Zambia: Darren Keet (GK), Anele Ngcongca (C), Thabo Matlaba, Eric Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Mandla Masango, Oupa Manyisa, Bongani Ndulula, Tokelo Rantie
SA Subs vs Zambia: Brilliant Khuzwayo (GK), Jackson Mabokgwane (GK), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Bongani Zungu, Thuso Phala, Themba Zwane, Bernard Parker, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Siyabonga Nhlapho
Not considered for the match: Andile Jali, Patrick Phungwayo (both knee injuries)