Head Coach Shakes Mashaba has retained the bulk of the squad that drew 1-1 with Cameroon in the third round first leg of the 2015 African Youth Championships (AYC) played in Yaoundé, Cameroon last weekend (Saturday, 16 August 2014).
Mashaba has, however, added five players to the 18-man squad that traveled to Cameroon – which is now without goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi, who was red carded in that match.
Mpho Mathekga has been called up in place of Msibi, joining Jethren Barr in goals.
The other four new players in the squad are defender Tebogo Moerane of Bidvest Wits, Hashim Domingo, a midfielder with Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns striker Ntando Ngubane as well as midfielder Phillip Ndlondlo of Izinyoka FC who missed the cut when the squad jetted out to Yaoundé.
Amajita have already arrived in Polokwane to continue preparations for this match.
“You all know the importance of this match and I cannot emphasise it any further. We went to Cameroon and came back with a 1-1 draw, a crucial away goal. But it doesn’t mean we will relax and defend the result. Football is about attacking and defending, and this second leg will be won in the first 45 minutes. The longer it stays level the riskier it becomes for us so we have to be at our best. We have to put pressure on them but also be cautious at the same time,” said Mashaba.
South Africa and Cameroon face off in the decider that will be staged on Sunday, 31 August at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
“This is a very important match to the Association and to the country. For far too long we have not had much success in the junior ranks and we believe with this team we are on the brink of that.
“But we would like appeal to the people of Polokwane and the surrounding areas to come out in numbers to support these young players. We are all too aware that going to junior national team matches is not sexy, but it is going to be vital to give the support for the success of this nation,” said SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble at the squad announcement in Johannesburg.
The overall winner between South Africa and Cameroon qualifies for the 19th edition of the African Youth Championships which will be held in Senegal from 8 – 22 March in 2015.
The semi-finalists at the African Youth Championships automatically book their places to the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup tournament in New Zealand.