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Molefi Nsteki names his squad for Nelson Mandela Challenge against Mali

The clash will take place on Sunday, 13 October 2019, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

FILE: Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki. Picture: @BafanaBafana/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki on Wednesday announced a squad of 23 players to face Mali in the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge.

The clash will take place on Sunday, 13 October 2019, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Ntseki has called up Themba Zwane and Mosa Lebusa in place of Rivaldo Coetzee and Lebohang Maboe, who are dropped from the squad that was due to play friendlies against Zambia and Madagascar in early September.

After the withdrawal of Zambia, this will be Ntseki’s first match in charge of Bafana Bafana following the resignation of head coach Stuart Baxter after the Afcon tournament.

The fixture is part of South Africa’s preparation for next month’s back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan.

“This is a very important match for us as it will determine our way forward in a sense of how we are going to play and approach matches. We could not play a match in the last training camp due to reasons known to everyone, but we had good training in anticipation of that game,” said Ntseki.

“But it will be crucial for us to start the journey of the Afcon qualifiers on a positive note. What I also want to see from the players is the mental attitude that there are no friendly matches in international football, we have to do the best we can to win every fixture because winning can become a habit and on the other hand, so can losing. Once we do well against Mali, it will stand us in good stead against Ghana and Sudan next month.”

This will be the fourth meeting between Bafana Bafana and The Eagles of Mali. Mali is ranked 11th on the continent – two places above Bafana Bafana. In the world, the West Africans are in position 57 compared to South Africa’s 71st spot.

SA senior men’s national team list vs Mali - 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge:

GOALKEEPERS:

  1. Darren Keet OH Leuven FC (Belgium)

  2. Ronwen William Supersport United FC (SA)

  3. Brandon Petersen Bidvest Wits FC (SA)

DEFENDERS:

  1. Erick Mathoho Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)

  2. Buhle Mkhwanazi Bidvest Wits FC (SA)

  3. Thulani Hlatshwayo (C) Bidvest Wits FC (SA)

  4. Thapelo Morena Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

  5. Thamsanqa Mkhize Cape Town City FC (SA)

  6. Innocent Maela Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

  7. Mosa Lebusa Mamelodi Sundowns (SA)

MIDFIELDERS:

  1. Kamohelo Mokotjo Brentfort FC (England)

  2. Thato Mokeke Cape Town City FC (SA)

  3. Dean Furman Supersport United FC (SA)

  4. Lebohang Phiri Guingamp FC (France)

  5. Bongani Zungu Amiens FC (France)

  6. Themba Zwane Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)

  7. Thembinkosi Lorch Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

  8. Percy Tau Club Brugge FC (Belgium)

  9. Thulani Serero Al Jazira FC (Abu Dhabi)

  10. Keagan Dolly Montpellier FC (France)

FORWARDS:

  1. Lebo Mothiba Strasbourg FC (France)

  2. Bradley Grobler Supersport United FC (SA)

  3. Kermit Erasmus Cape Town City FC (SA)

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