Bafana Bafana Coach Stuart Baxter is hoping to have a good Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt despite low-key preparations.
Bafana have departed to Dubai for a mini-camp where they will tackle Ghana in a friendly match on Saturday and then move to Egypt to play against Angola in a friendly match on the 19th.
The team will kick-off their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast on the 24th in Cairo. They will then take on Namibia on the 28th and then finish their group campaign against Morocco on the 1st of July.
Baxter says they will also get information from striker Lebo Mothiba when they prepare against Ivory Coast. The French-based striker plays in France against most of the Ivorians.
Baxter selected a 23-man squad on Sunday in Johannesburg and dropped three players, Kermit Erasmus, Fortune Makaringe and Ben Motshwari.
Overseas-based defenders Joel Untersee and Nikola Tavares were also not considered due to paper work issues, while Rivaldo Coetzee went to visit his ill mother but never reported back for camp.
Keagan Dolly withdrew after he was injured during the COSAFA Cup. Baxter says he selected a balanced team.
Baxter selected seven defenders for the tournament.
Bruce Bvuma is a surprise selection, while the Chiefs duo Daniel Cardoso and Ramahlwe Mphahlele did not have a good season, while Wits defenders Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatswayo, Sifiso Hlanti also were not convincing this season.
Baxter is confident they will have a good tournament.
Baxter selected a strong attack comprising of Percy Tau, Mothiba, Lebohang Maboe, Lars Veldwijk and Sibusiso Vilakazi. Baxter says both attackers have a knack of scoring goals.
Dutch-based striker Lars Veldwijk scored 24 goals this past season to help his second-tier division team to gain promotion to the top division. Baxter says he is also capable of banging the goals.
Winger Dolly suffered a groin injury just before the Cosafa Cup match against Botswana in Durban. That ruled him out of the tournament and Baxter would have wanted to have him in Egypt. – Report by Vincent Sitsula
Bafana Bafana checking in before flying out to Dubai pic.twitter.com/oq7dqUjWb6
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) June 10, 2019
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