10 October 2019 – The u23 Olympic team arrived in the Egyptian capital of Cairo in the early hours of Thursday morning in high spirits and ready for the Egyptian challenge.
The team will play the AFCON 8-Nations hosts on Friday, 11 October in a practice match and 13 October in a friendly international encounter, this according to coach David Notoane is an ideal dry run ahead of next month’s tournament which will decide the three African teams that will qualify for Tokyo 2020.
The South African team left OR Tambo Airport at around 14h00 on Wednesday and flew via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia before connecting to Cairo where they arrived in Egypt in the early hours of Thursday.
The team was joined by four overseas based players Luther Singh, Gift Links, Kodiseng Kobemelo and Thabo Cele who flew straight from Europe to complete a formidable side which coach Notoane is insisting has what it takes to win the upcoming AFCON u23 tournament.
The team will practice at the imposing Cairo International stadium on Thursday afternoon and travel to Ismaily on Friday morning where both the practice and international friendly matches will take place.
“I am happy with the arrangement and the main idea, apart from giving my players the rehearsal of what to expect next month, is also to build relationships with the Egyptian FA. This is good both for the country and the mother body SAFA,” said buoyant Notoane.
The practice game kicks off on Friday at 17h00 and both teams can play up to the entire team while a maximum of six substitutes can be used during the international friendly.
South Africa are drawn in Group B, together with Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Zambia while Group A consists of hosts Egypt, Mali, Ghana and Cameroon.
Group A matches will be played at Cairo International Stadium while Group B will play theirs at Al Salam Stadium.
South Africa kick start their campaign with a clash against Zambia on 9 November followed by the clash against Nigeria on 12 November with the final match being against Ivory Coast on 15 November.