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Bafan coach opts for youth
24 Feb 2012
sapa

DURBAN — Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane infused new energy into the squad with three uncapped players for the international friendly against Senegal at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Wednesday.

Orlando Pirates’ players were excluded as they travel to Angola for the return leg of their CAF African Champions League encounter against Recreativo do Libolo. They lost their first-leg tie 3-1 at home.

“We have decided to exclude Pirates players because they will be playing in Angola three days after our game,” Mosimane said in Durban yesterday after naming his 23-man squad for the clash.

Mosimane announced first call-ups for Swedish-based midfielder May Mahlangu and Free State Stars’ nippy, in-form forward, Edward Manqele.

Another uncapped addition was AmaZulu midfield strongman, Thami Sangweni.

There were recalls for Santos’ central defender, Wayne Arendse, and the Mamelodi Sundowns duo of left-back Punch Masenamela and forward Lebohang Mokoena.

The Kaizer Chiefs’ striking pair of Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro were dropped after unconvincing displays in national colours over the past year.

Bafana vice-captain Siphiwe Tshabalala and midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane were not considered due to injury. Captain Steven Pienaar returns rejuvenated after battling a series of injuries. Back at Everton the 30-year-old is starting to find his form again.

Midfield anchor Kagiso Dikgacoi, who plays for Crystal Palace in the English league, also returns from injury.

Mosimane took the opportunity to apologise for his emotional tirade against the media in January after Bafana drew 1-1 against Ghana in Rustenburg.

He said the way in which he responded to reports was caused by stress after the challenges he encountered preparing for the practice fixtures against both Zambia and the Ghanians.

“I need to clarify what happened,” said Mosimane. “I should not have generalised because there were some journalists who wrote positive stories.

“How many times have you guys written an obituary for me? How many times? Everybody wrote an obituary for us before we started. Everybody saw us being slaughtered.

“Everybody wrote, ‘They turned the game into practise matches, they’re afraid, they’re scared’.”

— Sapa.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands

Defenders: Morgan Gould, Eric Mathoho, Wayne Arendse, Punch Masenamela,Tsepo Masilela, Bongani Khumalo, Siboniso Gaxa, Anele Ngconga

Midfielders: Thanduyise Khuboni,Thamsanqa Sangweni, George Maluleka, Teko Modise, Kagiso Dikgacoi, May Mahlangu, Daylon Claasen, Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero

Strikers: Katlego Mphela, Siyabonga Nontshinga, Lebohang Mokoena, Edward Manqele.





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