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Pitso announces team to face Sierra Leone

BAFANA Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has announced a 23-man squad to take on Sierra Leone in the final match of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The match will take place on October 8 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

Mosimane has made five changes to the team that played against Niger in Niamey earlier this month.

The team welcomes the return from injury of midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Kaizer Chiefs as well as Mamelodi Sundowns’ striker Katlego Mphela. The Mamelodi Sundowns’ duo of midfielder Lebohang Mokoena and defender Punch Masinamela have also been recalled. The only newcomer in the squad is Turkey-based striker Bradley Grobler of Goztepe Izmir.

But Mosimane will be without Crystal Palace’s Kagisho Dikgacoi and Tlou Segolela of Orlando Pirates, Teko Modise of Mamelodi Sundowns, Tsepo Masilela of Getafe in Spain and Davide Somma of Leeds United, who are all nursing injuries. Captain Steven Pienaar of Tottenham Hotspur is doubtful.

Siphiwe Tshabalala will captain the team against Sierra Leone should Pienaar not be available.

After five matches in the qualifiers, South Africa is second in Group G with eight points, one behind log leaders Niger. Sierra Leone is in third position with eight points, followed by Egypt who have amassed only two points, and have already been eliminated from the race to qualify for the Afcon finals to be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next year.

“This is a very tough match for us because qualifying is no longer in our hands, but what we can control is a win against Sierra Leone. The plan was to get nine points from our three home matches and three from the away clashes, and it was working well until the last match against Niger where we got nothing. This was a difficult group even though we started very well, and you will notice that none of the four teams managed to get maximum points away. It was a group where home matches were crucial for survival,” said Mosimane.

The head coach is still confident that South Africa will be at the finals next year.

“We need to play attacking football like we always do when we are at home. If we do what we have been doing in the last year we should get maximum points even though in this case we still depend on others to come through for us. This is a win-at-all-costs encounter, we have to put our bodies on the line and I believe we have a team that will deliver. We believe, trust and know we can beat Sierra Leone at home and we are committed to doing that,” added Mosimane.

The coach has also urged fans to come in numbers to support Bafana in their quest to qualify for the Equatorial Guinea and Gabon soccer showpiece.

The team will assemble tomorrow and travel to the Royal Marang Sports Complex on the same day where they will hold camp. Training will start on Friday until Thursday (October 6) when they travel to Nelspruit.

In Nelspruit there will be two training sessions, one on Thursday afternoon and the final one on Friday morning.

Bafana squad to face Sierra Leone in the Afcon qualifier:

NO.

PLAYER’S NAME

CLUB

GOALKEEPERS:

1.

KHUNE Itumeleng

Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)

2.

WAYNE Sandilands

Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

DEFENDERS:

3.

GOULD Morgan

Supersport United FC (SA)

4.

JELE Happy

Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

5.

MATHOHO Eric

Bloemfontein Celtic FC (SA)

6.

GAXA Siboniso

Lierse FC (Belgium)

7.

KHUMALO Bongani

Reading FC (England)

8.

NGCONGCA Anele

Racing Genk FC (Belgium)

9.

SANGWENI Siyabonga

Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

       10.

MASENAMELA Punch

Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

MIDFIELDERS:

11.

DAYLON Claasen

Lierse  FC (Belgium)

12.

KEKANA Hlompho

Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

13.

MANYISA Oupa

Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

14.

KHUBONI Thanduyise

Lamontville Golden Arrows FC (SA)

15.

JALI Andile

Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

16.

TSHABALALA Siphiwe (Capt)

Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)

 17.

LETSHOLONYANE Reneilwe

Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA) 

18.

MOKOENA Lebohang

Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

STRIKERS:

19.

PARKER Bernard

Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)

20.

SERERO  Thulani

           Ajax Amsterdam FC (Hol)

21.

MPHELA Katlego

Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

22.

MAJORO Lehlohonolo

Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)

23.

GROBLER Bradley

Goztepe Izmir FC (Turkey)

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