3 September 2022 – Bafana Bafana coach Helman Mkhalele says he would have loved to have had a full squad earlier in the week instead of a day before their second round, second leg CHAN qualifier clash against Angola on Sunday .
Bafana Bafana held their first training session with a complete squad (24 players), after having a limited number of players for the most part of their second leg camp, after having reconvened on Thursday following their return from Luanda, Angola, on Tuesday night.
Mkhalele stated that this made Bafana Bafana’s preparation process a bit more challenging for this crucial fixture, having had to play against a side that has been together for a while.
The Bafana Bafana match against the Palancas Negras will now take place at Dobsonville Stadium (Kick-off 15h00), instead of the initially proposed Orlando Stadium.
“We are looking forward to tomorrow’s game and we are hoping to overturn the 2-0 deficit we conceded and fight our way to qualify for 2023 CHAN tournament,” Mkhalele said. “It is not going to be an easy challenge because today will count as the first time having a full squad training together, having reconvened this past Thursday. We will use this time to do everything in our power to ready the team and push for the desired result.
“This is the sad part and a reality that we’ll have to deal with right here at home because teams are not obliged to release players…. These CHAN qualifiers are played outside the FIFA/CAF calendar,” Mkhalele added.
“Be that as it may, we were hoping to get some cooperation from our clubs to release some of their unused players on time. We do not blame the teams but one would have thought, looking at were Bafana Bafana is now, that we would pull together in rebuilding the Bafana Bafana brand to a level we all believe it could be in. I really was hoping for some form of compromise (from the clubs).
Mkhalele said he was expecting a tough challenge from Angola, adding that the visitors have been playing together for a while now.
“Looking at Angola, they have been together for quite some time now. These are the best players they have selected from their elite league that we’ll be playing against on Sunday,” Mkhalele said. “They have been together since the COSAFA Cup tournament, moving into the CHAN qualifiers together as a unit. This has not been the case with us, though, hence I say a bit of a compromise from our respective clubs in getting players early for our camp could have gone a long way for us.”
South Africa vs Angola CHAN second round, second leg CHAN Qualifiers
|SAMBO||Kamogelo||Defender||Free State Stars|
|DUBE||Austin Thabani||Defender||Kaizer Chiefs|
|MAHLANGU||Kamogelo Macbeth||Defender||TS Galaxy|
|MODISE||Malebogo||Defender||All Stars FC|
|NYEMBE||Sabelo||Midfielder||All Stars FC|