New-look Bafana brimming with confidence

New-look Bafana brimming with confidence
28 March 2017 09:42

Coming fresh from a convincing 3-1 triumph over Guinea-Bissau last Saturday, the new look South Africa is high in confidence and will be looking at maintaining their dominance over Angola in another international friendly match on Tuesday at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London. The two Southern African sides will be meeting for the 13th time with the Angolans only registering a single victory over their hosts. 

A new generation of Bafana Bafana seems to be on the rise following the dismissal of former head coach, Ephraim Mashaba few months ago. Assistant coach, Owen Da Gama has taken up the baton on an interim basis and assembled what many South Africans believe is by far the ‘best’ Bafana Bafana squad in recent times. The inclusion of previously snubbed players such as Kermit Erasmus, Percy Tau and Kamohelo Mokotjo has added a new dimension into the team’s style of play. 

Youngsters who also shone at the recent Total U-20 AFCON tournament in Zambia such as Luther Singh and Phakamani Mahlambi are likely to be given their first senior national team debuts against the Angolans.

Singh was the tournament’s top goal scorer with four goals while the tricky Mahlambi has been a revelation for both club (Biidvest Wits) and country since returning from a long term injury. 

“It’s an honour for me and Luther to come and play alongside the big names in South African football. For us, this is a motivation as we prepare for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. This is also a learning period where we need to get some experience because we want to win that tournament and not make up the numbers,” said a confident Mahlambi.

While the new coach is expected to be announced after Wednesday’s international friendly, the mood in the Bafana camp is at an all-time high with players wanting to cement their place in the team. 

”Everyone wants to be a part of this “new” team. I have been part of a number of Bafana squads but this is a new generation of stars that want to die for the jersey,” says goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune. 

The Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper has been handed back the captain’s armband and is amongst the senior players that will be guiding the youngsters against the Palancas Negras.

Angola landed in East London on last Monday afternoon and will be using Tuesday to fine-tune their preparations in a bid to end the opponents’ dominance over them.

Meanwhile, the Bafana medical staff is working around the clock on the quartet of Eric Mathoho (skin abrasion), Hlatshwayo (ankle), Furman (groin) and Jali (shoulder dislocation) to ensure that they are ready for the clash on Tuesday evening.


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