Mashaba: Momentum is key

Premiership

Mashaba today named his squad for the tie which falls outside of the Fifa calendar, meaning clubs are not obliged to release their players for international duty.

Bafana will use the game as part of their preparations for next year's Africa Cup of Nations, taking place in Equatorial Guinea from January 17 to February 8.

“Maintaining the momemtum is key, because to break it could be detrimental to the team in the sense that we are looking forward to the Afcon tournament and we have to go there with the high spirit that already exists in the team,” Mashaba said.

“With that in mind, we will go out there and do our best and hopefully continue with our record of not losing. We will try to score goals and keep a clean sheet for the morale booster of the team heading to Equatorial Guinea.”

Mashaba said the Nelson Mandela Challenge - played in honour of the former state president and anti-apartheid icon since 1995, was an important fixture for the nation.

“The Nelson Mandela Challenge fixture is one of the most important events we can venture into as human beings and the national team, and we will tackle it from a two-pronged angle. Firstly, to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to help those who are less fortunate than us, and we hope that people can come in numbers to aid this good cause.

“Secondly, we hope the players that have been selected will see us through in the future. We don’t want to bring people in as a once-off thing. We are giving them an opportunity to come and sell themselves and show us what they are made of. We have gone for players who are on the fringes at their clubs, and are not playing regularly.”

He added: “We can only appreciate if the clubs can help us by releasing the players we need. We are aware that the League is in full swing, and perhaps at a crucial stage for them and we hope they can assist. We really appreciate the support.”

Mashaba's men - who will go into camp and travel to Mpumalanga on Thursday - qualified for Afcon as unbeaten Group A winners with three victories from six games.

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