Bafana Bafana have safely arrived in Durban for their upcoming 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia.
The squad arrived in the city on Sunday afternoon (7 June) to prepare for the clash which will be played on Saturday, 13 June at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Kick-off is at 15h00.
Bafana Bafana landed without Tefu Mashamaite, as well as the injured trio of Dean Furman, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Mzikayise Mashaba.
Mashamaite has withdrawn due to family commitments while Furman is nursing a knee injury; Vilakazi is out with an ankle injury while Mashaba is suffering from a shoulder injury.
Head coach Ephraim Mashaba has called up four players to replace the quartet – Tshepo Gumede, Ntsikelelo Nyauza (both of Orlando Pirates); Siphelele Ntshangase (Black Leopards) and Jabulani Shongwe of Bidvest Wits.
Gumede has already joined the squad in Durban while Shongwe, Ntshangase and Nyauza are expected in camp on Monday, 8 June. Ntshangase is currently on national team duty with the South African Under-23 squad.
Also due to arrive on the same day is the Pirates trio of Patrick Phungwayo, Thabo Matlaba and Oupa Manyisa who all played for their club in the CAF Confederations Cup clash against AS Kaloum on Saturday (6 June).
All the overseas-based players, with the exception of Tokelo Rantie who is getting married this weekend, have reported for national team duty – Anele Ngcongca, Ayanda Patosi, Andile Jali (all from Belgium); Thulani Serero (Netherlands); and May Mahlangu (Turkey).
“It is always difficult to get all the players on the first day, but I am happy with the numbers we have more so because most of them were on holiday and so we need to get going as soon as possible. It is just a pity that we won’t have the four players who have withdrawn, but such is the game of football. We have already called up replacements and I am confident they will be up to the task because none of them are new to our system,” said Mashaba.
Bafana Bafana will kick off their training sessions at People’s Park in Durban (next to the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Monday at 10h00.
The next match for the squad is an international friendly against Angola scheduled for Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday, 16 June. Both matches kick off at 15h00.