Johannesburg - The international friendly match between South Africa and Equatorial Guinea has been brought forward at the request of the Equatorial Guinea Football Federation. The match will now kick off at 18:00 SA time.
The change comes about after the President of the country, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, requested that the match be played at an earlier time to accommodate his counterparts from neighbouring countries (Chad and Cameroon) who have been invited to the match so they can be able to fly back to their countries immediately after the clash.
The encounter between Bafana Bafana and Equatorial Guinea is part of the celebrations to open the 40 000-seater Nkoantoma Stadium in Bata City that will be used as one of the match venues for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Bafana held their first training session on Wednesday evening and head coach Pitso Mosimane was impressed with what he saw.
Mosimane has 10 new players in the squad that he was working with for the first time. The players are Siyabonga Mpontshana (Platinum Stars); Briliant Khuzwayo (Thanda Royal Zulu); Gilbert Rudiger, Mzikayise Mashaba and Ayanda Gcaba (all Free State Stars); Patrick Phungwayo, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Ryan Chapman (all Bidvest Wits); May Mahlangu (Helsingborg FC, Sweden); and Nazeer Allie (Ajax Cape Town).
The 11th player Wayne Arendse, is expected on Thursday after being delayed by an expired passport in Johannesburg.
"The first session was very positive, it came out very well but we need more time for the team to gel. I can tell they will play well but there will not be that normal flow of Bafana Bafana because of a change in personnel. Unfortunately that is the price you pay for bringing in many new players at once - it doesn't guarantee a positive score line but you will get positive contribution. They have the passion and will to play, which is a great start, but they are still playing as individuals and with time we will be able to change that," said Mosimane.
Bafana Bafana will have the last training session on Thursday, which will give the head coach an indication of his starting line-up.
"It was a blessing in disguise to bring these new players here, because I have seen great potential future Bafana Bafana stars, and that is the positive side. By bringing them here we are able to confirm what we saw during the many games that we attend around the country. We should not put them under pressure, though, or rush them but just give them space to breath and improve," added the coach.