Johannesburg - South Africa are hoping to play a friendly against the continent’s top ranked team Algeria in the build-up to next month’s African Nations Cup finals, Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thabo Senong revealed on Sunday.
The supersport.com website reports, the young assistant was brought in to speak to the media after the country’s 2-0 win over the Ivory Coast in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Nelspruit and gave away some of the thinking of the Bafana technical team when he was questioned about the country’s preparatory plans for the upcoming tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
“We want to play against a west African team and a side from north Africa,” he told reporters. “A friendly against Algeria is what we want. They have highly technical players and are a well organised team. To play against a west African team also gives you a test of physical strength.”
Algeria are ranked 18th in the world, won five of their six qualifiers in the preliminaries and reached the second round at the World Cup in Brazil in July.
But a final decision on Bafana’s opponents depends on the draw for the finals, which is being made in Malabo tomorrow.
“There is no point organising a match against a country you are going to be facing in the group competition just days later,” Senong added. “The draw will obviously influence our choice of friendlies.”
CAF rules state the Bafana can call up their players from two weeks before the start of the tournament, which is January 4. It is during this period that Mashaba will be hoping for the friendly games to prepare his side.