Bafana Bafana

Bafana arrive at destination

2012-01-04 17:36
SA coach Pitso Mosimane (File)
Johannesburg - After an eight-hour travel Bafana Bafana finally arrived in Bata, Equatorial Guinea for their international friendly against the home side.

The game will mark the opening of one of the venues that will be used for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which begins later this month.

The match will be played on Friday and kickoff is at 19:30 local time in Bata (20:30 South African time).

The South Africans will be without Belgium-based goalkeeper Darren Keet whose club has refused to release him. Siyabonga Mpontshana from Platinum Stars, who travelled with the squad to Equatorial Guinea, has since replaced him.

Mpontshana is part of the 21 players that are in the West African country, with only one player still to arrive. Wayne Arendse of Santos had to stay behind because his passport had expired. It has since been sorted and he is expected to land in Equatorial Guinea on Thursday.

May Mahlangu is one of three overseas-based players in the squad. He currently plays for Swedish side Helsingborgs IF. The others are Daylon Claasen and Siboniso Gaxa who both play for Lierse FC in Belgium.

It's Mahlangu's first call up to the national team.

"This is an honour for me to be called up to the Bafana Bafana squad. I have been keeping hope alive that someday my efforts will be rewarded. But I never gave up because I knew the coach could only select a certain number of players to represent their country.

Now that my time has come, I can only do my best. It is a good feeling to be a part of this team," said Mahlangu.

He was recently voted the Player of the Year in Sweden.

"I have been doing very well for my club, and I guess that is the reason why I have been given this opportunity to play for my country.

I had a chance to represent Sweden but I was almost certain that my turn would come, rather than change my allegiance. Now I am looking forward to getting onto the field when we hold our first training session," added the forward.

Bafana will have their first training session on Wednesday evening. 

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