Bafana's profile ahead of AFCON

2015-01-14 08:51
Dean Furman (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana have been deteriorating since 1996 but since Shakes Mashaba’s takeover, have looked rejuvenated ahead of AFCON 2015.

Read: Bafana brimming with confidence

FIFA Rank: 52

Coach: Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba

Captain: Dean Furman

Nickname: Bafana Bafana

Best AFCON finish: Winners (1996)

AFCON 2013 finish: Quarter finals

AFCON Pedigree:

South Africa won their only AFCON tournament in their first participation in the tournament in 1996 after being banned from international competition for 18 editions of the tournament.

Bafana Bafana went on to finish second and third in the next two tournaments in 1998 and 2000 respectively, but have largely failed to perform since.

South Africa did make it to the quarter-finals in 2002, but failed to progress past the group stage of the competition for the next three installments in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

They then missed out on the 2010 and 2012 AFCONs, having controversially failed to qualify for the latter tournament on head-to-head having banked on going through on goal difference.

As hosts, South Africa did participate in the 2013 tournament, where they crashed out at the quarter-final stage after a 3-1 penalty shootout defeat to Mali.

Squad overview:

Shakes Mashaba raised some eyebrows with his final 23-man squad for the tournament, with Thulani Serero's name conspicuous in its absence.

Serero had impressed in several appearances under Mashaba, but failed to report for a training camp in December, which likely led to his exclusion from the squad.

Long-time skipper Itumeleng Khune was also left out, but expectedly so following a three-month absence through injury.

Mashaba has also had to deal with a last minute injury to fullback Patrick Phungwayo, who has been replaced by Ayanda Gcaba.

Bafana otherwise boast an experienced squad littered with talent, most of who have impressed under Mashaba throughout the AFCON qualification campaign.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (KV Kortrijk), Brilliant Khuzwayo (Kaizer Chiefs), Jackson Mabokgwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces)

Defenders: Siyabonga Nhlapo (BidVest Wits), Ayanda Gcaba (Orlando Pirates), Anele Ngcongca (KRC Genk), Thulani Hlatshwayo (BidVest Wits), Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Ajax Cape Town), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Andile Jali (KV Oostende), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thami Sangweni (Chippa United), Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers), Thuso Phala (SuperSport United), Mandla Masango (Kaizer Chiefs), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates)

Forwards: Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (AFC Bournemouth), Bongani Ndulula (AmaZulu), Sibusiso Vilakazi (BidVest Wits)

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  shakes mashaba  |  soccer

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Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

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