Mahlambi ready for hostile Egypt return

SA National Teams

Mamelodi Sundowns winger Phakamani Mahlambi is set to return to Egypt this weekend when South Africa’s under-23 side face Egypt in preparation for AFCON.

David Notoane’s side qualified for the continental competition for a third successive time after beating Angola and Zimbabwe over two legs in their second and third round qualifiers.

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With the tournament set to kick-off on November 8 in Cairo, South Africa have line-up two practice matches against the hosts on Friday, October 11 and against two days later as they gear up for the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament.

With Mahlambi having previously plied his trade with Egyptian giants Al Ahly, the 22-year-old is expecting a hostile reception when he meets the Pharaohs this weekend, but he insists this will not deter him from enjoying his football on the pitch.

“I know it’s not going to be good [the reception], but that’s how life is. I even scored against them [Al Ahly, in the CAF Champions League] and I celebrated, and I know they’re angry at me,” said ‘Phaka’.

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“But that’s football, I have to do what I have to do. If they hate me, I don’t care because I’m still playing football and I’m enjoying myself playing for my country.

“They can’t stop me from playing, they might get angry in the stands, but I’ll be in the field playing.”