Chiefs starlet reflects on maiden call-up

Ngezana was named on the bench for Bafana as they were undone by Madagascar in their COSAFA Cup quarter-final in Polokwane on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts were foiled by the island nation, as the two sides played to a 0-0 draw in regulation time before Stuart Baxter's troops lost 4-3 on penalties.

READ: Makaringe: It's unfortunate to lose this way

However, having been part of his first Bafana camp, Ngezana will fondly remember the experience of his maiden call-up, despite the disappointing result in his first match on the bench.

“I got the news about the call-up via WhatsApp messages from my Kaizer Chiefs teammates," the 20-year-old told his club's website.

"I was asleep at the time and realised that my name was in the squad through those messages. I immediately called my parents to express my jubilation.

"I switched on the TV – Sports Blitz channel – and saw a repeat of the announcement. I couldn’t believe that I made the 24-man squad, because many were in contention for places to be called up."

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Upon his arrival, the Amakhosi youth graduate said he felt at home with the support of the technical team and some of his teammates, who he is familiar with from the junior national team setup as well as from his club.

“I was well received by the technical team. Some players I knew from Under-20 level, like Portugal-based Luther Singh," he added.

"I immediately felt at home, especially with my Chiefs teammates Ryan Moon, Bruce Bvuma and Wiseman Meyiwa also being there.

"I got a sense from training that coach Stuart Baxter has been closely monitoring my game."

Having recently completed his first season in the PSL, since being promoted to the first team in August last year, Ngezana believes the challenge will ultimately help his growth as a player.

"This is a different level. It is a mature stage of the game. What’s great is that coach Baxter gives you a chance to express yourself and he challenges your own views as well,” he concluded.

South Africa will now face Namibia in the plate semi-final on Tuesday evening, with kick-off at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium set for 17h00.