Bafana face Algeria test
Johannesburg - South Africa will look to pick up a win against the continent’s second-highest ranked side Algeria when the teams meet for an international friendly at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 15:30.
Bafana Bafana slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of a makeshift Norway team in a midweek friendly in Cape Town and will use this match against the North Africans as the final warm-up before the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations kicks-off on January 19.
Coach Gordon Igesund would have been disappointed to lose to the Scandinavians, but believes there are positives to be taken out of the performance in the Mother City and which can be built on in this game in Soweto.
“What's important is that we are creating these opportunities and we are getting into good areas, so I'm not too worried about the lack of penetration in attack,” said the Bafana coach after the match.
“I don't think we have created so many chances in a game in a long, long time. The players know they played well, that they had this team on the back foot, and Norway only created a couple of half-chances.
“We wanted to try and win it, and we were very unlucky. I think we must have had about 70 percent possession. Defensively we kept them at bay. They had some very tall strikers which we dealt with quite easily, and we turned defence into attack very well.”
Algeria are the perfect opponents for this stage of AFCON preparations. Not only are they fellow competitors at the tournament (they are drawn in Group D alongside Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Togo), the ‘Desert Warriors’ will provide a similar style of play to that Bafana will encounter against Morocco in their final Group A match.
Algeria are former Nations Cup champions (they won the trophy on home soil in 1990) and have appeared at the FIFA World Cup three times, including the 2010 finals in South Africa. Coached by the well-travelled Vahid Halilhodžic, Algeria are ranked 19th on FIFA’s overall ladder and second in Africa behind Cote d’Ivoire.
This will be the third meeting of South Africa and Algeria. The teams’ two previous matches were both in Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
In 1996, Bafana Bafana defeated the North Africans 2-1 in the quarter-finals en route to winning the championships. Four years later the teams played to a 1-1 draw in a Group B match in Kumasi, Ghana. SA v Algeria – previous meetings
January 27, 1996, Africa Nations Cup quarter-final, Soccer City, Johannesburg
SA won 2-1 (Fish 72', Moshoeu 85'; Lazizi 84')
February 2, 2000, African Nations Cup finals Group B, Sports stadium, Kumasi
Drew 1-1 (Bartlett 2'; Moussouni 52') Squads:
South Africa Goalkeepers:
Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Senzo MeyiwaDefenders:
Siboniso Gaxa, Tsepo Masilela, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Anele Ngcongca, Thabo Nthethe, Thabo MatlabaMidfielders:
Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Lerato Chabangu, Oupa Manyisa, Thulani Serero, May Mahlangu, Dean Furman, Thuso PhalaForwards:
Katlego Mphela, Bernard Parker, Tokelo Rantie, Lehlohonolo Majoro Algeria Goalkeepers:
Rais M’bohli, Azzedine Doukha, Cedric Si MohamedDefenders:
Rafik Halliche, Djamel Mesbah, Carl Medjani, Essaid Belkalem, Liassine Cadamuro, Faouzi Ghoulam, Ali RialMidfielders:
Khaled Lemmouchia, Yacine Bezzaz, Hameur Bouazza, Medhi Lacen, Adlene Guedioura, Foued Kadir, Ryad Boudebouz, Mehdi Mostefa, Sofiane Feghouli, Saad TedjarForwards:
El Arbi Hillel Soudani, Islam Slimani, Mohamed Amine Aoudia