Bafana will welcome a visit from the west Africans as the hosting rights change hands from one nation to the next
Gaxa, Gould, Mathoho, Masenamela
Tshabalala, Modise, Yeye, Ngcongca
Mouele, Apanga, Ebanega, Moussono
Aubameyang, Madinda, N'Guema
South Africa are expecting a visit from Gabon on Friday, in a friendly international that is to be used to prepare the two countries for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. South Africa are the hosts of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, so they are not involved in the qualifiers for that tournament, and as a result they are using these friendly matches to prepare for the competitive games that await in January next year.
South Africa’s 1-1 home draw against Ethiopia on the first day of 2014 World Cup qualifying was nothing short of disastrous for Bafana Bafana. The indisputably terrible result cost coach Pitso Mosimane his job and assistant Steve Komphela now steps into the limelight in a caretaker role ahead of the announcement of a new man in charge. In the second Group A match Bafana drew 1-1 with Botswana, making life particularly difficult with only two points earned from a possible six.
Gabon co-hosted the 2012 Afcon with Equatorial Guinea, and they provided their fans with an incredible tournament, making it out of the group stages beating Niger, Morocco and Tunisia on the way to the quarter-finals, where they lost to Mali following a 1-1 draw which led to a penalty shoot-out.
South Africa will be without defender Tshepo Masilela following a knee injury sustained against Ethiopia, while Siyabonga Sangweni is also unavailable through injury. South Africa caretaker coach Komphela has released five players from the squad that will face Gabon on Friday.
Captain Steven Pienaar, striker Katlego Mphela, midfielders Oupa Manyisa and Thanduyise Khuboni as well as defender Bongani Khumalo have all been allowed to go home. The players left after the squad’s training session on Monday evening.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- South Africa were not present at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament after they failed to qualify from a group that included Egypt, Niger and Sierra Leone.
- Bafana will be the home team when the country hosts the 2013 Afcon in January next year, and they are expected to take part in a number of friendly international matches, such as this one, as a result of their open calendar in order to prepare for the tournament on home soil.
- South Africa have qualified for the World Cup on three occasions. Twice through the qualifiers (1998, 2002) and once as hosts (2010).
- Gabon was one of the co-hosts of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, along with Equatorial Guinea.
- The Panthers