Soccer News of Sun, 15 Jan 20124
Bafana Bafana Forced to Make Changes for the Ghana Clash
Bafana Bafana could face Ghana without four players who were in the starting line-up against Zambia.
The South Africans take on Ghana in a practice-training match at the Royal Bafokeng Sport Palace in Phokeng near Rustenburg. The clash will take place on Sunday, 15 January 2012. Kickoff is at 16h00.
Bafana is already without the injured Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Nazeer Allie, who have been ruled out of Sunday's clash; May Mahlangu has returned to his club in Sweden while George Maluleka is a doubtful starter after complaining of a sore knee at Bafana Bafana's last training session on Saturday morning (14 January).
"These injuries are part of the game but we have to soldier on. We lost five players after the match in Equatorial Guinea and brought in reinforcements, now we are on the verge of losing four again when we have to face Ghana. We are getting thinner and thinner, but at the same time we are becoming stronger with every training session. We will monitor George and see how it goes with him. On the other hand we welcome back Granwald Scott, who missed Wednesday's encounter due to injury," said Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane.
He added that even though the boys gave a decent performance against Zambia, Sunday's clash will be completely different, as they will be facing one of the favourites of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament that starts in a week's time.
"We are playing one of the best on the continent, so we will need to have mental strength. We also have to be realistic and know that this is a different match altogether. Ghana has more speed, they have a good attitude on the ball, they are big and strong but I know my players will fight. We are at the finish line now and I would like them finish strong and leave here with their heads held high. In our favour we have good organisation, we keep our shape and tactically we are disciplined - but then again facing Ghana may just dismantle all that, that is why mental strength is key. I also hope my players don't get nervous going against the stars of Ghana. To be realistic, this is going to be a difficult match for us but we will survive," added Mosimane.
In the absence of Letsholonyane, Thabo Nthete, who is also the captain of Bloemfontein Celtic, will captain the team. Nthete was part of the Bafana Bafana squad that attended the month-long training camp in Brazil prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
It's a great honour to have been chosen to lead the team against Ghana, and I will do my best to help the players on the field. As for the match, it's going to be a tough one without doubt. We are all looking forward to facing Ghana more so because the mood in the camp is high after the good performance we gave against Zambia. We hope to continue from where left off, and finish off this camp on a high. We have young, exciting players in the squad who still have a lot to prove, but we have a lot of confidence and if we believe in ourselves and play our normal match, we will do well. We want to win because that will enhance our chance of returning to Bafana Bafana, and this is will be a good test for us at this level," said Nthete.
Tickets for the practice-training match between Bafana Bafana and Ghana are available at Computicket outlets and Shoprite and Shoprite/Checkers stores free of charge.
They are also be available at the following places:
- Tlhabane Foro Spar
- Lucky's Pub (Phokeng)
- PH Network (Phokeng)
- Mickey's Geo (Rustenburg)
- Platinum Stars FC Offices (Phokeng)
- Mafisa FM offices
- North West FM offices
- Rustenburg Local Municipality/Bojanala
Only twenty-thousand (20 000) tickets have been printed for this clash, and will be available on a first come first served basis with only one ticket for each person.
The media will use their PSL accreditation cards or any other media cards in their possession.
Gates open at 13h00.