Bafana ready for Morocco test
Johannesburg - South Africa will look to maintain their unbeaten record against Morocco when the two sides meet in an international friendly at the new Adrar Stadium in Agadir on Friday night.
This clash will also mark the opening of the stadium which is set to host the FIFA Club World Cup in December.
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has taken some pressure of his charges by stating that building a new squad is more important than results at this stage following his side’s failure to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
As a result, he has picked a squad which includes a mix of regular players and younger players who are expected to star for Bafana in the future, but their determination to make a lasting impression is likely to serve as motivation.
The two sides have previously met on four occasions with two matches ending in a favour of the South Africans, while two encounters ended in draws, but this will be their first meeting in Morocco.
South Africa will be without midfielders Kagisho Dikgacoi and Kamohelo Mokotjo, who have both been ruled out by injuries, but Igesund is confident that he has enough cover in Dean Furman and Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
The likes of Sibusiso Vilakazi, Ayanda Patosi and Daylon Claasen will also look to use this opportunity to prove to the coach that they are ready to be part of his long-term plans.
Bafana went down 2-1 to neighbours Zimbabwe in their most recent friendly, while Morocco’s last encounter was a World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Coach Rachid Taoussi has named a strong squad with a number of European-based stars, but some of the big name players have been forced to pull out due to various reasons.
Abdelhamid El Kaoutari was forced to withdraw in order to undergo a nose operation, while Mounir El Hamdaoui and Anas Zniti also suffered injury setbacks.
Striker Abderrazak Hamedallah, who is currently based in Norway, has asked for time off to try and find a new club.
The two sides last met during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in Durban, a tie which ended in a 2-2 draw and helped South Africa to progress past the group stage, while Morocco were eliminated from the competition