Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba says the friendly international against Ghana at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday, 11 October 2016 is an opportunity for new selected players to put up their hands and stake a claim in the national team colours.
Following the Senior Men’s National team impressive 1-1 away draw against Burkina Faso in Bafana Bafana’s opening FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier on Saturday; Mashaba said it is in such circumstances that new stars are born.
Mashaba released three Mamelodi Sundowns players defender Tebogo Langerman, captain Hlompho Kekana and Keagan Dolly to concentrate on the club’s CAF Champions League final first leg match against Zamalek of Egypt.
Also missing from Tuesday’s friendly encounter that kicks off at 19h00, will be towering defender Erick Mathoho who lost his brother last week and travelled straight to Venda for family bereavement soon after the team arrived from West Africa on Monday morning.
But a fired up Mashaba said this was an opportunity for other players to plug the gap and stake a claim in national colours.
“We are aware of Ghana’s strength, typical of robust West Africans, they run and run, are physical and shoot from any angle,” he said. He was supported by captain Thulani Hlatshwayo who identified the Black Stars as strong and a dangerous proposition never to be underestimated.
Bafana Bafana had a regeneration exercise on Monday afternoon and skipped physical training in a bid to preserve energy and expedite recuperation following a marathon trip from Burkina Faso but Mashaba said he still expects his charges to compete.