Bafana cut practice short


The team were put through their paces at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University this morning, but as the weather worsened, with a driving wind and rain, coach Joel Santana decided to cut the session short to avoid the possibility of illness amongst the players.

“The coach doesn’t want to wake up tomorrow with half his squad down with the flu,” Bafana media officer Sifiso Cele told “Anyway, the squad have had double-training this whole week, so the coach is satisfied with their preparations.”

One thing that is yet to be decided is the captaincy with regular skipper Aaron Mokoena suspended for the game, and Santana is keeping his thoughts on the issue close to his chest.

In all likelihood it will revolve around team selection, with no fewer than six players in the frame.

Benni McCarthy may be considered the front-runner, but Mbulelo Mabizela could be given the nod should he start. Sibusiso Zuma has captained the side before but looks likely to start from the bench, while Moeneeb Josephs was the skipper when Bafana won the Cosafa Cup in 2007.

Finally, Macbeth Sibaya and Nasief Morris are also in the frame to wear the skipper’s armband.

Looking at the squad being put through their paces, Santana is likely to make just the one change from the side that started against Australia in a friendly in London on August 19 – either Matthew Booth or Mabizela in for Mokoena – and McCarthy looks the most likely to lead the side.

Bafana must beat Nigeria to have any chance of qualifying for 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, while at the same time hoping Equatorial Guinea can win in Sierra Leone this weekend.

Probable Bafana line-up: Itumeleng Khune – Bryce Moon, Mbulelo Mabizela, Nasief Morris, Bradley Carnell – Teko Modise, Kagiso Dikgacoi, Macbeth Sibaya, Siphiwe Tshabalala – Siyabonga Nkosi – Benni McCarthy.