Bafana Bafana take on Mozambique in the opening game of the Chan tournament on Saturday (January 11). The event is fairly unique in that the 16 teams taking part are only allowed to field players that play their football in the country of their birth.
Despite the presence of no European-based players in any of the squads taking part, it's expected that most of the teams involved will still be fairly competitive. Bafana face therefore what potentially could be a tricky set of fixtures in Group A. Apart from taking on a virtually unkown Mozambique outfit on the weekend, Bafana will also face West African powerhouses Mali and Nigeria.
Nonetheless, Bafana's first test will come in the form of the Black Mambas on the weekend. The good news for the national team is that the potentially dangerous Elias Pelembe is unavailable for Joao Chissano's men, because of the rules of the competition.
However, there could still be some threats Bafana need to watch out for on the day. One of the threats could be the team's striker, Sonito, who last year spent some on trial at Kaizer Chiefs. The 28-year-old was the leading goalscorer for Liga Muculmana in Mozambique's top flight league and could pose a danger to Bafana's back four.
In addition, the Mozambique side are said to have prepared well for the opening Group A game with Bafana as they reportedly played some international friendlies in the lead up to this clash. The Mambas reportedly played both DR Congo and Libya as preparation in January. Bafana's only match in preparation was against National First Division side, Milano FC, in Cape Town.
Nonetheless, the national team managed a morale-boosting 1-0 win against the semi-professionals which must come as some consolation. The first match of the Chan tournament between Bafana and Mozambique will get underway from 18h00 at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.