Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki has named a squad of 25 players to face Ghana and Sudan in back-to-back Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for next month.
South Africa kick-start the journey to the African football’s premier showpiece with an away match against Ghana on Thursday, 14 November 2019 in Accra.
Bafana Bafana will then host Sudan three days later (Sunday, 17 November) at the Orlando Stadium.
Kick-off for that home match is 15h00.
The other country in Group C is Sao Tome e Principe, which South Africa will only meet next year.
Ntseki has selected the bulk of the team that defeated Mali 2-1 in the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge played in Port Elizabeth earlier this month – that was his first assignment as the head coach of Bafana Bafana.
He has brought back defenders Thami Mkhize (Cape Town City) and Sifiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits), – the duo missed the last match due to injuries.
In midfield Bongani Zungu makes a return after he was withdrawn from the past training camp, also due to an injury.
Also being recalled after a long absence is midfielder Aubrey Modiba (Supersport United), who takes the place of the injured Keagan Dolly.
“If it is not broken, why fix it. We have decided to keep the bulk of the team because they already understand what we want to do, and you will recall this will be my third camp with them – even though we did not play a match in the first one, so it was important to keep that consistency as we also don’t have too much to work on things seeing that we are playing two match in a space of three days, which also involves significant travelling,” said Ntseki.
This will be the Bafana Bafana’s 12th meeting against the Black Stars of Ghana, and the third clash against Sudan.
South Africa has beaten the West Africans five times and lost on three occasions, with three matches drawn.
The first encounter was back in 1994 in the Four Nations Cup which Bafana Bafana won 2-1. The last encounter was in 2016, which ended in a 1-1 draw in Durban – it was an international friendly match.
Bafana Bafana have never lost to Sudan.
“These are very crucial matches in that they could determine our destiny in the competition. We have to start on a good footing and avoid playing catch-up as it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on everyone – the coaching staff, players and the even the fans,” added Ntseki.
“We have to make sure we start positively because winning brings about a lot of energy to the team, which makes the next assignment not easy but more manageable, but I am confident we will do well.”
Bafana Bafana assemble for camp on Sunday, 10 November and depart for Ghana the next day – Monday, 11 November.
They return to South Africa on Friday, 15 November to prepare for the Sudan fixture.
Bafana Bafana squad to face Ghana & Sudan in Cameroon 2021 AFCON qualifiers. GOALKEEPERS: Darren Keet (Leuven FC, Belgium), Ronwen Williams (SS Utd), Ricardo Goss (Bidvest Wits)
DEFENDERS: Erick Mathoho (Chiefs), S’fiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Thapelo Morena, Mosa Lebusa (Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Pirates), Thamsanqa Mkhize (CT City).
MIDFIELDERS: Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Thato Mokeke (CTCity), Dean Furman, Aubrey Modiba (SS), Lebo Phiri (Guigamp), Mothobi Mvala (Highlands Park), Themba Zwane (Downs), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Percy Tau, (Brugge), Thulani Serero ( Al Jazira)
STRIKERS: Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg, France), Bradley Grobler (Supersport United), Kermit Erasmus ( CT City)