Afcon Qualifiers: Blow for South Africa - Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Jali set to miss Sudan clash

Andile Jali, Bafana Bafana, March 2021
The duo was not part of the Bafana squad which travelled to Sudan as coach Molefi Ntseki looks to mastermind a win over the Falcons of Jediane

South Africa international Andile Jali will miss the team's upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan.

The two teams are scheduled to meet in their final Group C match at Al Hilal Stadium in the Sudanese city of Omdurman on Sunday evening. 

Jali picked up a groin injury during Bafana Bafana's 1-1 draw against the Black Stars of Ghana at FNB Stadium on Thursday.

The Mamelodi Sundowns central midfielder had to be substituted just 24 minutes into the game and he was replaced by Ben Motshwari. 

The South African Football Association has now confirmed that Jali did not travel to Sudan due to the injury, while Swallows FC defender Sfiso Hlanti will join the team on Saturday.

"Bafana Bafana arrived aboard Ethiopian Airways on Friday, 26 March 2021 minus injured Andile Jali who sustained a groin injury during the Ghana game. Also delayed was defender Sfiso Hlanti who will join the rest of his teammates on Saturday morning," a statement read on Safa's official website on Friday.

"Other than that, the entire squad was beaming with confidence upon arrival at Khartoum International Airport and Sunday’s clash is set to produce all sorts of fireworks."

"Team doctor, Dr Thulani Ngwenya said the team will not be involved in physical training on Friday but will take lots of rest before going through the regeneration programme at the hotel swimming pool later in the evening. The team will then train at the match venue on Saturday before Sunday’s titanic clash."

South Africa are heading into their crucial encounter against Sudan's Falcons of Jediane needing a point to qualify for the most prestigious football tournament in Africa.

Bafana are placed second on the group standings - level on points with Ghana - who have already qualified for the finals which will be hosted by Cameroon.

Sudan are in position three - a point behind South Africa and they need to defeat Bafana in order to qualify for next year's tournament. 

Bafana secured a 1-0 win over the Falcons of Jediane in the reverse fixture at Orlando Stadium in November 2019 with Lebogang Phiri scoring the only goal of the game in the first half. 

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