18 March 2019 – The South African U-23 Men’s National Team will face the Lesotho Senior Men’s National Team in a practice match this afternoon (Monday, 18 March 2019) at the training grounds of the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.

The South Africans are using the match clash to prepare for their upcoming 2019 CAF U23 Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola on Friday, 22 March in Luanda.

The squad departs on Wednesday (20 March).

SA U-23 head coach David Notoane expressed his delight over an impressive turnout of players who reported for camp, adding that he was expecting more players to show up before the departure date.

“We had a good turn out of players who reported for national team duty on the first day of camp on Sunday (17 March 2019),” said Notoane. “A total of 21 players reported for camp out of the expected 28, and that is a very good number.

“Most of our overseas players could not report for camp on the first day as expected due to club commitments. We are expecting them to be in camp by Tuesday. We now have a total of 24 players in camp following the arrival of Chippa United’s Tercious Malepe, Highlands Park’s Given Msimango and Kabelo Seriba from FC Metta today.”

Notoane added that their friendly match against Lesotho’ senior national team, will help his side to gel and work as a collective ahead of their U23 AFCON qualifier against Angola.

“We are going to use this friendly encounter to assess players who have not had enough game time with their respective clubs – we want to check as to what can they bring into this team,” said Notoane.

“This will also give us an opportunity to assess new players like Bongani Sam and Jemondre Dickens on whether they can deal with the demands that come with playing for the national team,” added Notoane.

The return leg of the U23 AFCON qualifiers will be played on 26 March 2019 at Bidvest Stadium.

Kickoff is at 19h00.