Gordon Igesund recently picked his 23-man squad to take on Central African Republic in Bafana Bafana’s crucial World Cup qualifier on March 23rd, however he does have a few worries in his side.
Igesund’s side needs to take all three points in the Mother City if they are to keep up their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, although a number of the players in the coach’s squad is not yet fully fit.
Defender, Siyabonga Sangweni, was recently ruled out of Orlando Pirates’ trip to Zambia due to the same knee injury that kept him out for several weeks leading up to the Soweto Derby, but was called up the Bafana set up regardless. However, Soccer-Laduma revealed earlier this week that the defender’s situation worsened and he had to pull out, being replaced by Kaizer Chiefs man, Erick Mathoho.
Midfielders, Daylon Claasen and Kagiso Dikgacoi, have also struggled with injuries of late, with Claasen only recently making his comeback from a long-term knee injury, and Dikgacoi nearly missing out on the squad with a hamstring problem.
Finally, up front, Malmo FF forward, Tokelo Rantie, has played just under 45 minutes of football since picking up an ankle injury in Bafana’s African Cup of Nations defeat at the hands of Malawi and the beginning of February.
If you add to this the fact that Morgan Gould, one of the other two centre backs selected alongside Sangweni, has only recently returned from an Achilles injury, there is only youngster Siyanda Xulu, and the inexperienced Thabo Nthethe, who are fully fit centre halves.
Soccer-Laduma also revealed over the weekend that Gould’s Kaizer Chiefs colleague, Tsepo Masilela, had been withdrawn from the squad and replaced by Tebogo Langerman, meaning that there are just six defenders in the squad.