Polish puzzle for Igesund
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Gordon Igesund takes charge of his third match at the helm of the South African national team when Bafana Bafana take on Poland at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Friday.
Having been beaten 1-0 by Brazil in Sao Paulo last month, this away match presents a completely different challenge for Igesund and his charges.
Poland may not have the free-flowing style of the South Americans, but they are still a technically-gifted side who boast some fantastic players, particularly Borussia Dortmund duo Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Igesund has shuffled his squad somewhat compared to the group that did duty against Brazil and Mozambique, and there are some notable new inclusions. The one South African fans will be most intrigued by is Slovak-based Ricardo Nunes, a left wingback who has represented Portugal at youth international level but was born in Johannesburg.
Bloemfontein Celtic’s ‘Mr Reliable’ Thabo Nthethe has been rewarded for his consistency, while there is also a recall for 72-cap veteran Delron Buckley, who has played an important role in Maritzburg United’s good start to the PSL season.
Bafana will be without the likes of Thulani Serero, Benni McCarthy and Siboniso Gaxa due to injury, while former captain Steven Pienaar has retired from international football.
This match will represent the second official meeting of Poland and South Africa. Bafana Bafana beat the Europeans 1-0 at Orlando Stadium in June 2009 in a warm-up match prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Thembinkosi ‘Terror’ Fanteni scored the only goal of the game. Itumeleng Khune, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Bernard Parker are the only members of the current squad who played a part in that match. South Africa squad Goalkeepers:
Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns) Defenders:
Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Punch Masanamela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Luvhengo Mungomeni (Moroka Swallows), Ricardo Nunes (MŠK Žilina, Slovakia), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK, Greece), Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Eric Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Bevan Fransman (SuperSport United) Midfielders:
Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Siphiwe Tshabalala, George Lebese, Reneilwe Letsholonyane (all Kaizer Chiefs), Delron Buckley (Maritzburg United), May Mahlangu (Helsingborgs IF, Sweden), Dean Furman (Oldham Athletic, England), Sifiso Myeni, Oupa Manyisa (both Orlando Pirates), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England), Katlego Mashego (Free State Stars) Strikers:
Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (Malmö FF, Sweden), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Haifa, Israel) Poland squad
Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton and Hove Albion, England), Przemyslaw Tyton (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands) Defenders:
Kamil Glik (Torino, Italy), Marcin Komorowski (Terek Grozny, Russia), Damien Perquis (Real Betis, Spain), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Marcin Wasilewski (Anderlecht, Belgium), Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (1860 Munich, Germany) Midfielders:
Jakub Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Ariel Borysiuk (Kaiserslautern, Germany), Kamil Grosicki (Sivasspor, Turkey), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Reims, France), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Ludovic Obraniak (Bordeaux, France), Eugen Polanski (Mainz, Germany) Strikers:
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Artur Sobiech (Hannover 96, Germany)