Notoane explains line-up selection


South Africa are away to the Giant Sable Antelopes this evening in their opening round qualification for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations set to be hosted in Egypt in November.

Notoane has had a tough time needing to trim his squad from an initial 28 to just 23, which included some notable omissions earlier this week, but had an even tougher job having to select his XI for the match that kicks off at 17h00.

The Mamelodi Sundowns youth mentor has explained that it’s not only about placing the perceived best names on the sheet, but rather about achieving the correct balance in order to achieve the desired approach and result.

“It’s a headache, but a good headache. We spent a whole night first trying to choose a 23-man squad [on Tuesday], to get the right permutation and balance,” said Notoane.

“But I think we’ll get the right balance based on the talents and the way we want to play. The most important thing is to be cautious not to put the best 11 names.

“That might not give you team performance, so what we’re looking for is team balance, strength and synergy, and if it means somewhere, we have to make compromises then so be it – that’s our job [as coaches], to make decisions.

“It’s a two-legged tie, so the nice thing about it is that it gives you an opportunity to also change your tactics in the second leg. There are players ideal for 4-3-3, and others maybe for 4-4-2, so that also gives us flexibility.”

SA U23 XI: Mondli Mpoto (GK), Thendo Mukumela, Tercious Malepe, Sandile Mthethwa, Katlego Mohamme, Teboho Mokoena, Grant Margerman, Phakamani Mahlambi, Athenkosi Dlala, Lyle Foster, Luther Singh

Subs: Darren Johnson, Siyabonga Ngezana, Jamie Webber, Gift Links, Kabelo Seriba, Khanyisa Mayo, Kamohelo Mahlatsi