The South African Men’s U20 National Team (Amajita) is embarking on a four-nation tour of West Africa to prepare for the upcoming 2015 African Youth Championships qualifier against Cameroon.
Amajita will face Cameroon in the third and final round with the first leg scheduled for the weekend of 15-17 August in Cameroon. The second leg will take place two weeks later on the weekend of 29-31 August.
To ready themselves for this crucial clash, Shakes Mashaba’s boys will travel to Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Ivory Coast. The South Africans depart on Sunday, 20 July and will return to the country on Monday, 4 August.
The first match will be against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou on Wednesday, 23 July. The following day the team travels to Bamako where they will face Mali on Saturday, 26 July. Amajita will then move to Senegal for a date with the host nation on Wednesday, 30 July. The tour ends in Ivory Coast with a match scheduled for Sunday, 3 August.
“The match against Cameroon is the last hurdle to qualifying for the African Youth Championships and is thus a very crucial stage of the qualifiers. It was important for us to organise these matches to ready the boys for battle because we haven’t played since May when we faced Ethiopia in the second leg and we wanted to prepare well as we didn’t want to face Cameroon cold from lack of action,” said Shakes Mashaba, head coach of Amajita.
“The matches will help us get the boys back into the rhythm and increase our chances of doing well in Cameroon. We could not have asked for better preparations and I would therefore like to thank the Association for all the assistance in preparing for this crucial clash.” A week later the South Africans are expected to travel to Cameroon for the first leg of the qualifiers.
Amajita proceeded to the third round following a 3-0 aggregate win over Ethiopia – a 2-0 victory in Addis Ababa and 1-0 win in South Africa in the second leg.
The overall winner between South Africa and Cameroon will qualify for the 19th edition of the African Youth Championships which will be held in Senegal from 8 – 22 March in 2015.
The top three at the AYC will represent Africa at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup tournament in New Zealand.
The South African Men’s Under-17 National Team (Amajimbos) arrived in freezing Lesotho where temperatures dropped to as low as -0 degrees Celsius last night (Monday, 7 July 2014).
Amajimbos face Lesotho in two matches this week – Thursday, 10 July and Sunday, 13 July – as part of preparations for Tanzania in a 2015 African Youth Championship qualifier. The match against the East African country will take place in Dar es Salaam on 18 July 2014.
The boys will have their first training session on Tuesday, 8 July 2014 after travelling from Botswana.
“It is cold but I think it is important for the players to undergo these conditions so they become mentally strong and get used to all weather conditions. We need to take them out of their comfort zone and start conditioning them into men at this early age so they can withstand the rigours of international competition,” said head coach Molefi Ntseki.
“We played on two different surfaces in Botswana – on normal grass and on a synthetic turf – this is also part of the building process for this team so they can be ready for any condition. I must say they acquitted themselves very well.
I think we will do the same here and have made a request for two different surfaces because you never know which field you are going to play on when outside the country. But for Tanzania we have been informed that we are playing on an artificial grass, which means we are ready for it.”
The South Africans return home on Monday, 14 July before jetting out to Tanzania the following day (Tuesday, 15 July).
The South African Senior National Women’s team, Banyana Banyana arrived safely in Windhoek on Wednesday afternoon, 2 July 2014 for the international friendly match against Namibia.
The match will take place on Saturday, 5 July at Sam Nujoma Stadium and will kick-off at 15h00 South African time.
The Sasol-sponsored Women’s National team is preparing for the 9th Edition of the African Women’s Championships that will be hosted in Namibia from 11-25 October this year.
Sasol Banyana Banyana will use the friendly match against Namibia to continue strengthening the team ahead of the African Women's Championships.
Having beaten Botswana 4-0 last month in their first preparation match, coach Vera Pauw is confident her charges will continue with the great form they have displayed in recent matches.
“The ladies are getting stronger with each match, the approach to each game has been different and I’m happy to see the adaptation to these. Each match we play takes us one step closer to achieving our goal of building a strong competative team,” said Pauw.
Upon arrival in Windhoek, the team held a light training session at the match venue.
Pauw admits to not knowing much about the Brave Gladiators but expressed her satisfaction in securing the friendly encounter.
“Nambia is a team that is also improving under Jacqui Shipanga, and for us to get an opportunity to play against them ahead of the Championships will give us an opportunity to know a bit about them, in case we have to play them during the tournament,” she concluded.
Seoposenwe back in Sasol Banyana Banyana squad
Midfielder Jermaine Seoposenwe, who plays for Stamford University in the USA, has made her return to the Sasol Banyana Banyana squad.
Sasol Banyana Banyana are currently holding a four day training camp at the Bedfordview Football Club grounds as part of preparations for the 2014 CAF African Women’s Championships that will be held in Namibia in October this year.
Nicknamed ‘Microphone’, Seoposenwe, who previously played for the University of the Western Cape in the Cape Town division of the Sasol Women’s League, joined Stamford University in the United States at the beginning of this year on a four-year scholarship, pursuing an undergraduate Degree in Business Studies.
“It’s an honour for me to be back in the squad, I know it’s not going to be easy, I have to work hard to earn my place in the team again,” said Seoposenswe.
The 2010 Under-17 SAFA player of the year suffered a knee injury in April this year and had not been part of Coach Vera Pauw’s selection since she took over as Banyana Banyana mentor.
“My injury happened just when Coach Vera took over, it was heart breaking for me because I missed out on a chance to be in the first camp she had. I see this as a blessing, to be given another chance to show her what I am capable of. I would love to be part of the squad that represents South Africa at the African Women’s Championship,” she concluded.
Sasol Banyana Banyana will be going on a tour of West Africa scheduled for early July. Pauw believes the tour is vital ahead of the preparations for the African Women’s Championships.
“The West Africa tour will test our readiness for the African women’s Championships and the amount of work we have done in the past 2 months. It will also be a chance for us to play against stronger opponents,” said Pauw.
Sasol Banyana Banyana are scheduled to play against the School of Excellence Under-16 team in a training match this afternoon.
Former South African referee of the Year, Daniel Bennett’s 2014 FIFA World Cup dream has been shattered after he was ruled out of the list of match officials to officiate at the 2014 World Cup tournament through injury.
Bennett was selected as support referee for the world football spectacle taking place in Brazil from 12 June -13 July 2014.
However, the diligent official picked up an injury in a routine training session at the Zico Centre in Rio on Tuesday, 3 June where the niggling injury was detected.
“The medical investigations revealed the seriousness of the injury which means a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks for cure. The main consequence is that Mr Bennett will be unable to officiate and support matches at this 2014 FIFA World Cup,” said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in a letter to the South African Football Association (SAFA) and CAF.
The FIFA medical team still had hopes to help Bennett recover but their efforts were in vain to get him ready in time for the tournament.
“During these days, adequate rehabilitation (twice a day) has been provided to Mr Bennett, however, this represents an additional load on the medical team, which has to ensure recovery massage and specific treatments to referees and assistant referees actively involved in the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” said Valcke.
As a result, the FIFA Referees’ Sub-Committee meeting of June 9, 2014 decided to release and send Bennett home to ensure proper recovery. However, his assistant Marwa Range from Kenya will continue with his duties in Brazil as support assistant referee.
There will be no replacement for Bennett as FIFA believe they have sufficient cover".
The quality of referees and assistant referees at the 2014 FIFA World Cup is paramount, and the support referees were implemented in order to provide a seamless transition when a referee or assistant referee must be replaced for any reason after the final selection has been made.
“At this stage of the competition, taking any referee who is not on the final list of selected match officials is counter-productive, since those referees did not partake in any official FIFA fitness tests nor all theoretical, tactical and physical sessions since January 2014 when the final list of referees and assistant referees was approved,” said Valcke.
Sasol Banyana Banyana’s preparations are in full swing ahead of their friendly international match against Botswana.
The clash will take place on Saturday, 7 June 2014 at the Vaal University of Technology Stadium.
Kick-off is at 15h00.
The South Africans are using the match as part of their preparations for the upcoming 2014 African Women’s Championships that will be held in Namibia from 11 – 25 October.
The Senior Women’s National Team started their camp on Sunday, 1 June.
“It is unfortunate that Comoros withdrew from the second leg, but I am grateful that everyone at SAFA and Sasol reacted quickly and worked hard for us to get a match against Botswana. We have more friendly matches lined up against stronger opponents to ensure that we get the team ready for the African Women’s Championships,” said Pauw
Pauw has invited strikers Kgadi Mokoma and Chantelle Esau from Sasol League triple national champions Palace Super Falcons from Gauteng and Mpumi Nyandeni from Russia to be part of the team for the match.
“We have had a look at a lot of players and with 144 teams participating in the Sasol League, the reality is that we cannot invite everyone. The group we have now is the core of the team and we believe that they are capable of doing a great job, starting with the match against Botswana on Saturday,” added Pauw.
Botswana is expected to arrive in South Africa on Thursday (5 June). They will have a training session at the match venue on Friday.
SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan has announced that Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund's contract will not be renewed.
Dr Jordaan made the announcement at a press conference on Monday, 2 June 2014 at SAFA House.
Igesund, who took over the Bafana Bafana reigns on 1 July 2012, failed to fulfil two of his mandates - reaching the semi-finals of the 2013 CAF Africa Cup of Nations and qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Although Bafana Bafana were knocked out in the first round of the 2014 CHAN tournament in January this year, the SAFA President said the tournament did not form part of Igesund’s mandate.
"The national executive committee (NEC) informed Gordon Igesund that his contract will not be renewed when it expires on the 31 August 2014," said Dr Jordaan.
“The search for the new coach will commence now and we are looking for a candidate who will take Bafana Bafana back to the glory days. He should be someone who takes us to the next level,” added Dr Jordaan.
While there won’t be any activity within the senior national men’s team until August due to the 2014 World Cup, Dr Jordaan said the new coach to take over the Bafana Bafana job will be named in due course
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said the Australasia tour, which saw his charges draw with Australia and New Zealand, had achieved its desired objectives.
South Africa drew 1-1 with 2014 FIFA World Cup-bound Socceroos on Monday, 26 May and 0-0 with the All Whites of New Zealand at Mt. Smart Stadium on Friday, 30 May to round off what the coach described as a satisfactory tour.
The Bafana Bafana entourage leave New Zealand on Saturday and are expected to land at OR Tambo Airport at 16h15 on the same day.
Reflecting on Friday’s game against the All Whites, Igesund said his team had dominated possession but was not ‘very happy’ that they failed to convert their dominance into victory.
“We should at least have put away one or two chances but we at times over-elaborated when taking a shot would have been a better option. At times, I detected that some players didn’t want to take the responsibility. But overall, I am quite pleased with how the boys played,” he said.
Igesund who brushed aside talk of his imminent abdication of the national team duties said New Zealand were not pushovers as many had predicted.
“They are enthusiastic, full of running although some of their tackles, especially on Thulani Serero bordered on recklessness. I thought the referee should have been more firm and stamped his authority. But there was nothing malicious apart from it being youthful exuberance on the home side’s players.”
The 57-year mentor said football matches involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa should become regular occurrences just as is the case with rugby and cricket.
“The three countries have a lot in common and I think the only missing link is to solidify relationships on the football front. The two Australasian countries are a good destination for most South Africans both on the cultural and sporting front and football should seal that bond,” added Igesund.
27 May 2014 - A Bafana Bafana delegation was greeted by some chilly weather conditions upon their arrival in Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday, 27 May 2014.
Coach Gordon Igesund’s side came within a whisker of pulling off a sensational win over World Cup-bound Socceroos before settling for a 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Monday night.
Having left Australia 12 hours after playing against the Socceroos, the South Africans shifted focus to the Kiwis, ranked a lowly 111th in the world but number one in the Oceania Football Confederation.
The two teams meet at MT Smart Stadium which has a capacity of 30 000 on Friday evening. The match is scheduled to kick off at 19h30 (09h30 SA time).
But the unfriendly weather conditions, which are set to be aggravated by persistent rains, are predicted to dominate the coming days in this bustling city of over 1.5 million inhabitants.
While temperatures in Sydney hovered around 25 to 27 degrees Celsius, Auckland is likely to test Bafana Bafana’s resolve in adapting to different weather patterns in which day temperatures are set to remain below 16 degrees Celcius.
“I need the boys to fully recover from the fatigue of constant travelling. The past day has really been exhausting. They have not had a good sleep since playing Australia. The boys are exhausted but in very high spirits. We should witness another exhilarating match on Friday,” said coach Gordon Igesund.
The squad will have a swimming pool session in the morning before having a full training session later in the day on Wednesday.
The team was seen off from Australia by SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan who could not travel to New Zealand due to some other pressing matters back home.
SAFA will have a National Executive Committee meeting this coming Saturday to discuss various issues concerning the Association.
Bafana Bafana battled to a brave 1-1 draw against the Socceroos of Australia in an international friendly match played at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Monday.
The fixture was the Socceroos’ final game before they jet off to Brazil on Wednesday for the Fifa World Cup, starting on June 12.
Coming into the game as underdogs, Gordon Igesund’s side fought like wounded tigers and with a bit of luck could have stolen the match in the second half. Still the 1-1 for a team that left home with a young squad, is an achievement worth praising.
While the pitch looked heavy, both teams quickly settled down with the home team looking for an early goal. Tommy Oar saw his deflected shot pushed for a corner by Senzo Meyiwa and from the resultant corner kick, Bafana Bafana cleared the danger.
Meyiwa was again forced to make a low save moments later as the Socceroos pushed forward in search of the opening goal.
James Troisi then watched in disbelief as his shot went over the bar as the home team continued to press for an early goal.
Despite the early pressure, Bafana Bafana took the lead in the 13th min through Ayanda Patosi with a clinical finish after a delicate pass by Tokelo Rantie.
The lead didn’t last long though as the home team replied hardly a minute later through Tim Cahill although his header was helped into his own net by a desperate Erick Mathoho clearance. Meyiwa could have done better though.
Oar was proving a thorn in the flesh of the Bafana Bafana defence and forced a good save from Meyiwa who punched the shot back into play.
Matthew Leckie then made light work of the Bafana defence before Oar blasted his shot over the bar moments later as the Socceroos laid a siege on the Bafana Bafana goal.
It looked as a matter of time before the Socceroos scored again as they stretched the Bafana Bafana defence to the limit. The back four, including Meyiwa, had to wither a lot of pressure.
The home side looked dangerous going forward but having been frustrated for longer periods, Bafana Bafana gradually came back into the game and manufactured some threatening moves.
The match went into the break deadlocked at 1-1.
Patosi saw his piledriver go agonisingly wide as Bafana started brighter in the second half.
Meyiwa then came off his line to punch away a threatening cross as he increasingly grew up in confidence. The Orlando Pirates goalkeeper then came off his line as, again, the defence left him exposed.
Rantie then shot over the bar and was soon substituted by Siphelele Mthembu.
The boisterous crowd of 50 459 was becoming increasingly frustrated as Bafana Bafana thwarted the home side’s raids effectively.
Substitute Themba Zwane could have become an instant hero among the Bafana fans but his tame shot went narrowly in the 70th minute.
Mark Milligan then flashed his shot wide as the World Cup-bound Socceroos started to become desperate.
As Bafana Bafana continued to grow into confidence, Serero was put through by Letsholonyane but shot over the bar.
Ben Halloran then forced a smart save from Meyiwa following some hesitation from the Bafana Bafana backline. Oliver Bozanic could have given the home side a late winner but his header went agonisingly wide.
Bafana Bafana starting line-up: Senzo Meyiwa (GK), Anele Ngcongca, Thabo Nthethe, Erick Mathoho, Thato Mokeke, Hlompho Kekana, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thuso Phala, Ayanda Patosi, Thulani Serero, Tokelo Rantie.
Replacements: Ronwen Williams, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Sibusiso Khumalo, Bongani Zungu, Temba Zwane, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Siphelele Mthembu.
Australia line up:Matt Ryan (GK), Ivan Franjic, Jason Davidson, Tim Cahill (C), Mark Milligan, Matthew Leckie, Tommy oar, James Troisi, James Holland, Ryan McGowan, Alex Wilkinson
Referee: John Hyeok Kim (South Korea).