Dikgacoi, Xulu out; Kekana, Mathoho in

Midfield kingpin and Crystal Palace playmaker, Kagisho Dikgacoi and defender Siyanda Xulu have been withdrawn from the 18-man Bafana Bafana squad to play Australia and New Zealand later this month.

The two will be replaced by Hlompho Kekana and Eric Mathoho respectively.

Dikgacoi has been playing with pain in all of Crystal Palace’s league matches and will need to undergo an operation during the off-season while Xulu of FC Rostov in Russia is recovering from an ankle injury.

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said it was a pity that the two had to withdraw from the team but added that the two replacements (Kekana and Mathoho) had always been part of his long term plans.

“In fact, had I named a bigger squad, both Hlompho and Mathoho could have been part of the initial squad because they are very much part of my future plans,” said Igesund.

Bafana Bafana leave for Australia on 22 May and play the Socceroos on 26 May before proceeding to New Zealand for a date with the New Zealanders on 30 May. The matches will be played in Sydney and Auckland respectively.

The squad returns home on 1 June 2014.