2013 Africa Cup of Nations
Teams: Bafana v Cape Verde
Date: 19 January 2013
Venue: National Stadium
Soccer-Laduma can confirm Bafana Bafana's starting XI for their opening game of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations against Cape Verde, with coach Gordon Igesund making some surprise changes.
The biggest surprise comes upfront, where Kaizer Chiefs' Lehlohonolo Majoro will start ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns forward Katlego Mphela. Majoro will be supported by his Chiefs teammate Bernard Parker.
In-form Orland Pirates fullback Thabo Matlaba has also done enough to convince the Bafana coach that he should start, as he comes in ahead of Tsepo Masilela.
Siyabonga Sangweni and Bongani Khumalo will control the centre of defence while Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Kagisho Dikgacoi have been deployed to command the middle of the pitch.
Igesund will be hoping that Thuso Phala and Siphiwe Tshabalala cause havoc on the flanks, while Majoro and Parker have been in decent form in front of goal in the ABSA Premiership season so far.
South Africa struggled in their last two friendly matches heading into the African showpiece, having lost 1-0 to Norway before drawing 0-0 with Algeria. But the players as well as Igesund have confidently stated that they are ready to fight for the title and will have a point to prove on Saturday.
This is how they line-up:
Bafana: Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca, Siyabonga Sangweni, Bongani Khumalo, Thabo Matlaba, Thuso Phala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker, Lehlohonolo Majoro.
Cape Verde: Josimar Vozinha, Fernando Varela, Elvis Babanco, Neves Nando, Luis Platini, Tony Varela, Santos Nivaldo, Marco Soares, Ramos Nhuck, Ryan Mendes, Taveres Carlitos.