South Africa set to make changes in Africa Cup

South Africa are set to change the team that fared woefully in the opening round for an Africa Cup of Nations Group A match against Angola in Durban on Wednesday.

Leaks from the Bafana Bafana (The Boys) camp suggest Dean Furman from English third-tier club Oldham Athletic will return to midfield in place of out-of-sorts Kagisho Dikgacoi from London outfit Crystal Palace.

There could also be a place in the starting line-up for striker Katlego Mphela, probably at the expense of Lehlohonolo Majoro, as the Cup hosts seek an improvement after a 0-0 draw with debutants Cape Verde Islands last weekend.

Many Bafana Bafana supporters would also like to see the one-time darling of the nation, midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala, dumped for the clash with the Black Antelopes before an expected sell-out 60,000 crowd at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Tshabalala scored a magnificent opening goal at the 2010 World Cup staged in South Africa, rifling a close-range drive past the Mexican goalkeeper in a 1-1 draw.

But 'Shabba' has looked a pale shadow of his former self in recent national team outings with many pundits believing it is his reputation rather than his form that is keeping him in the starting line-up.

Silver-haired coach Gordon Igesund, 56, visibly aged before an 80,000 crowd at wet and cold Soccer City in Soweto last Saturday as his team gave their worst performance of his nine-match reign since replacing Pitso Mosimane.

With Dikgacoi struggling, Bafana Bafana resorted to long balls that were comfortably dealt with by the tall, organised defence of a team carrying the hopes of a group of west African islands with a combined 500,000 population.

Igesund believes the 1996 South Africa Cup of Nations-winning team is casting a huge shadow over his team, which certainly does not look capable so far of repeating that feat.

"There is a lot of talk about the 1996 team -- it is right in our face all the time," admitted the coach who has won a record four South African Premiership titles with four different clubs.

"Our players want to emulate that team, the nation wants the current players to emulate that team, and the stars who won the title 17 years ago want my team to succeed."

Ironically, the South African class of 96 defeated Angola 1-0 in the second round of group games en route to the final, which they won 2-0 against Tunisia thanks to a second-half brace from substitute Mark Williams.

While South Africa have slipped backwards since, Angola have moved in the opposite direction, reaching the 2006 World Cup, and making a fifth consecutive Africa Cup appearance this month.

They held marginal favourites Morocco 0-0 in the second half of the opening round Soweto double-header with lanky striker and captain Manucho coming close to snatching all three points via a late header that finished just off target.

"Our performance against Morocco was satisfactory," said the Spain-based former Manchester United striker. "I came close a few times and it is encouraging that we created chances."

Angola are seeking a first victory over South Africa in the premier African national-team competition having lost in 1996, drawn 0-0 in Burkina Faso two years later and 1-1 in Ghana during the 2008 group phase.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options