South Africa - Central African Republic Preview: Bafana seek to ignite qualification campaign
After a disappointing start to Bafana Bafana's qualification campaign, Gordon Igesund will hope his side's new-found spirit can carry them through against a steely CAR outfit
By Daniel Eslick
Langerman, Xulu, Mathoho, Ngcongca
Tshabalala, Letsholonyane, Furman, Phala
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Keita, Anzite, Yamissi, Enza-Yamissi
Manga, Mabide, Lignanzi, Kemo
South Africa face Central African Republic in Cape Town on Saturday, in a bid to turn around their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.
The side did not enjoy a positive start to their qualification journey, drawing their first two encounters against Botswana and group leaders Ethiopia.
What followed was the dismissal of Pitso Mosimane and the introduction of Gordon Igesund as head coach of the national side, whose main objective is to achieve the improbable and secure South Africa a spot in the World Cup in Brazil.
Central African Republic serves as Igesund's first trial in his attempts to gain qualification for Bafana Bafana. Les Fauves has often been considered as minnows in Africa, but the side has seen a resurgence in its fortunes since the beginning of 2012.
A dramatic rise in the world rankings is indicative of the potential CAR possesses and Les Favoues will test Bafana Bafana to its core in Cape Town.
Les Fauves also defeated Egypt in an attempt to book a spot in South Africa for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but could not get past eventual finalists Burkina Faso in the qualification rounds.
Igesund will be without Siyabonga Sangweni and Tsepo Masilela in defence, but is confident that his reserve players have what it takes to hinder CAR's attacking force.
The coach also included European based players who have been in fine form over the past months, with the likes of Dino Ndlovu and Daylon Claasen set to take to the pitch in Cape Town.
Simphiwe Tshabalala has also been given the all clear to join up with the squad, as the Kaizer Chiefs man seeks to bring his club form for Kaizer Chiefs into the national set-up.
Central African Republic has named their strongest possible squad with dangerman Hilaire Momi looking to add to his tally of six goals in merely fourteen starts for Les Fauves.
Injury prone captain Eloge Yamissi is set for a return in Cape Town and the experienced Troyes AC central defender could be a vital cog in CAR's ability to defend against a speedy South African side.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- South Africa last qualified for a World Cup in 2002 via the traditional channels and was present in the 2010 World Cup due to being hosts of the tournament.
- Central African Republic is currently ranked 52nd in the World, eight places above Bafana Bafana.
- South Africa will be boosted by their impressive Africa Cup of Nations run earlier this year, which saw Bafana Bafana secure a quarterfinal spot in the tournament.
- Gordon Igesund has welcomed back Dino Ndlovu into his squad, with the striker enjoying a fine run of form for Maccabi Haifa in Israel.
- This will be the first time the two sides have met each other in an international football match.
- Ithumeleng Khune will captain South Africa after Gordon Igesund decided to not select Bongani Khumalo in his final squad.
Top 3 Predictions
South Africa 2-1 Central African Republic
- 20 %
South Africa 3-0 Central African Republic
- 12.86 %
South Africa 2-0 Central African Republic
- 11.43 %
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||08 Jun 2013||Central African Republic 0 - South Africa 3|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||23 Mar 2013||South Africa 2 - Central African Republic 0|
|05 Mar 2014||South Africa 0 - Brazil 5||FR|
|19 Jan 2014||Nigeria 3 - South Africa 1||CHAN|
|15 Jan 2014||South Africa 1 - Mali 1||CHAN|
|11 Jan 2014||South Africa 3 - Mozambique 1||CHAN|
|19 Nov 2013||South Africa 1 - Spain 0||FR|
|Central African Republic|
|07 Sep 2013||Central African Republic 1 - Ethiopia 2||WCQA|
|15 Jun 2013||Botswana 3 - Central African Republic 2||WCQA|
|08 Jun 2013||Central African Republic 0 - South Africa 3||WCQA|
|23 Mar 2013||South Africa 2 - Central African Republic 0||WCQA|
|14 Oct 2012||Burkina Faso 3 - Central African Republic 1||ACN|
|16||Itumeleng Isaac Khune||Goalkeeper|
|-||May Siphiwe Mahlangu|
|17||Bernard Melvin Parker||Striker|
|-||Tokelo Anthony Rantie||Striker|
|-||Eric Molomowanadou Mathoho|
|8||Lawrence Siphiwe Tshabalala||Midfielder|
|8||Manassé Enza Yamissi||Defender|
|35||Eloge Enza Yamissi||Defender|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed