South African Men’s u23 National Team coach, Owen da Gama has announced a 21-man squad that will play in the CAF u23 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament that runs from 28 November to 12 December 2015 in Senegal.

Eight top nations will vie for three places to represent Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Da Gama has kept the bulk of the team that has done duty in the last few months adding a few names to the already highly talented outfit.

“I believe this is a very competitive side we have selected. We have already played a number of matches together and I know what to expect from these players. The good thing is that these boys also want to make their mark and play in the Olympics so I am confident they will do well,” said Da Gama.

South Africa is in Group A with the hosts, as well as Zambia and Tunisia and will be based in Dakar.

The South Africans open their account with a tricky clash against the hosts, Senegal on Saturday, 28 November at the Leopold Stadium in Dakar.

Kickoff is at 15h00 local time (19h00 SA time).

“This is the match that will define our destiny. We do well here and we are on our way to the last four. Pressure will be on the hosts not to disappoint and we will have to take advantage of that. Our aim is to start well, because negative results will leave us under pressure in the remaining matches,” said Da Gama.

South Africa’s second clash is against Zambia on Tuesday, 1 December, while the last group stages match is scheduled for Saturday, 4 December at the Caroline Faye Stadium in Mbour.

Kickoff is also at 17h00 local time.

Group B, which will be in Mbour, has Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria and Mali.

The top three in the tournament will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as Africa’s Men’s representatives. Banyana Banyana and Zimbabwe have already qualified in the Women’s section.

South Africa goes into camp on Sunday, 22 November 2015 at the SAFA Technical Centre, South of Johannesburg.

On Monday, 23 November there will be medical assessments for all the players. Tuesday morning has been set aside for training at Eldorado Park Stadium.

The team departs for Senegal on the same day in the evening.

South Africa u23 AFCON Fixtures:

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Senegal vs South Africa
Léopold Senghor Stadium (Senegal)
15h00 (17h00 SA Time)

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

South Africa vs Zambia
Léopold Senghor Stadium (Senegal)
15h00 (17h00 SA Time)

Saturday, 4 December 2015

South Africa vs Tunisia
Caroline Faye Stadium (Senegal)
15h00 (17h00 SA Time)

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Semi Finals:
Léopold Senghor Stadium (Senegal)
15h00 and 18h30 (17h00 and 20h30 SA Time)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

3rd Place Play Offs:
Léopold Senghor Stadium (Senegal)
15h00 (17h00 SA Time)

Léopold Senghor Stadium (Senegal)
19h00 (21h00 SA Time)

1 Jody FEBRUARY  Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)
2 Ricardo GOSS Golden Arrows FC  (SA)
3 Kyle PETERS  Cape Town All Stars FC (SA)
4 Tshepo RIKHOTSO Bloemfontein Celtic FC (SA)
5 Kwanda MNGONYAMA Maritzburg United FC (SA)
6 Rivaldo COETZEE  Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)
7 Zitha MACHEKE Chippa United FC (SA)
8 Denwin FARMER Supersport United FC (SA)
9 Tebogo MOERANE Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
10 Abbubaker MOBARA Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)
11 Gift MOTUPA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
12 Menzi MASUKU  Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
13 Keagan DOLLY Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
14 Phumlani NTSHANGASE Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
15 Paseka MAKO Cape Town All Stars FC (SA)
16 Deolin MEKOA Maritzburg United FC (SA)
17 Ryaad NORODIEN Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)
18 Phakamani MAHLAMBI  Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
19 Siphelele NTSHANGASE Black Leopards FC (SA)
20 Sibusiso SIBEKO Golden Arrows FC  (SA
21 Dumisani ZUMA Bloemfontein Celtic FC (SA)