AFCON

Good and bad news for Bafana

2013-01-29 22:17
Lehlohonolo Majoro (AP)

Johannesburg - South Africa returned to serious training on Tuesday after being given a day off on Monday with the good news that striker Lehlohonolo Majoro is fit to return for the quarter-final match against Mali on Saturday.

The match is scheduled for a sold out Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Majoro sustained a shin injury in South Africa's 2-0 win over Angola and will train alone until Thursday.

Bad news however, is that defender Anele Ngcongca, who has featured in all three Bafana Bafana matches in the tournament, has been suspended for the Mali clash after receiving two yellow cards in the group stages.

"Everything happens for a reason. Anele is not available for our next match, (Siboniso) Gaxa has been working hard at training and now his opportunity has arrived. Maybe he is the right player for this match; even if Anele was available I think I would have used Gaxa. I think things were meant to happen this way," said Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund.

"We are two games away from the final, the players understand where we are and we all know there is a huge challenge that lies ahead of us. We know what we have to do.

"When you get this far in any competition, you are self motivated, but at the same time it gets tougher. Mali is a very talented team with very hard working players," added Igesund.

"They play differently to most teams we have faced; they like to slow things down. They knock the ball around and are very comfortable on the ball, but then again there are no easy games in the quarter-finals."

The head coach said he was happy his players were starting to warm up to the occasion after a slow start to the tournament.

"To be honest, we were under huge pressure, it would have been an absolute tragedy had we not qualified for the last eight. So the pressure is off as far as that issue is concerned.

"The expectations were so high because we hadn't performed well in our friendly matches. But when you analyse those matches you will realise they were very tough and they are helping us now."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
40 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Vote

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?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.