Khune, Dikgacoi out of Brazil clash
Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi will not play against Brazil.
JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi have been ruled out of the squad to face Brazil on 5 March.
Khune sprained his ankle while on duty with his club Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday and is expected to be out of action for around 15 days. The Chiefs skipper has been replaced by Orlando Pirates keeper Senzo Meyiwa in the squad.
Crystal Palace midfielder Dikgacoi has been withdrawn from the squad with a back injury.
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Thabo Nthethe is expected to take over the Bafana captaincy in Khune's absence.
Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund will conduct a training session at the Orlando Stadium on Monday afternoon, and says he expects a fully committed performance from his side.
"I expect the players to put a good performance. We did so against Spain and I believe the players will give nothing less. It is surely going to be a tough match but I am certain the players will be competitive against the five-time world champions. We need these kind of games to gauge where we are and this is one match where you don't need to motivate the players as they know what is expected of them."
Igesund added he has faith in his side to pull off a similar result to the 1-0 win they secured against Spain in November last year.
"Even though these are two different matches I am confident that my players will be able to deal with the might of Brazil like they did with the Spaniards. We are playing a fantastic team, favourites to win the 2014 World Cup which they are hosting. I hope the supporters will get behind the team because every game we play we want to win, and with their assistance we can get positive results. I want my players to show hunger, commitment and determination in this match."
KV Oostende midfielder Andile Jali is happy to be back in the country after heading to Europe in the January transfer window, and is excited to play against the five-time World Cup champions.
"It feels good to be back, and it will be exciting to play against Brazil as it will be my first time. We will fight for a win even though it is going to be a difficult match. As players, we don't have to be motivated because just being in the squad to play Brazil is enough motivation. We did well against Spain because we were playing as a team and, if we continue with the same mentality, we will do well again."
Possible Bafana skipper Nthethe says the players have been studying their opposition ahead of the glamour tie.
"Every player is excited to play Brazil and we are all hoping to be in the starting line-up for such a big occasion. All the players who are here know how Brazil plays, and I believe we have all been studying their moves as to how we can counter them. In fact, I even have a picture in my mind of how to face a world-class player like Neymar, but we all know it will not be easy."