Mashaba shakes up South Africa squad
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South Africa coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba promoted several national youth team stars when naming his squad on Friday for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sudan and Nigeria.

The recently appointed boss included goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi and defenders Rivaldo Coetzee and Ayabulela Magqwaka in a 25-man squad for the Group A games.

Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Sudan in Khartoum on September 5 and title-holders Nigeria in Cape Town five days later.

Mashaba vowed to give youth a chance when he succeeded Gordon Igesund, whose two-year contract was not renewed after failing to meet several mandates set by national football association officials.

He also acknowledged the need to win over a fickle South African football public following years of World Cup and Cup of Nations underachievement.

"We have to come up with a winning team," said 64-year-old Mashaba, who has coached the national team once before on a permanent basis and twice as a caretaker.

"How the team plays is important -- we need to deliver performances that the nation can be proud of."

Defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele, midfielder Keegan Dolly and strikers Bongani Ndulula and Bonginkosi Ntuli are other young, fresh faces.

Omissions include Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Thulani Serero, Sweden-based midfielder May Mahlangu and long-serving left-back Tsepo Masilela.

Injuries ruled out Bernard Parker, the leading national league scorer last season, and veteran wide midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala.

South Africa failed to build on good, early post-apartheid form which led to victory in the 1996 Cup of Nations and qualification for the 1998 World Cup.

Bafana have not qualified for the Cup of Nations since 2008, only playing in the 2013 finals because they were the hosts.

Congo complete Group A and South Africa will play them twice during October before hosting Sudan and visiting Nigeria the following month.

The top two finishers qualify for the 17 January - 8 February finals to be hosted by Morocco.

 

Squad

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Senzo Meyiwa (Orlando Pirates), Dumisani Msibi (SuperSport Utd)

Defenders: Rivaldo Coetzee, Ayabulela Magqwaka (both Ajax Cape Town), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi (both Wits University), Sibusiso Khumalo (SuperSport), Anele Ngcongca (Genk/BEL), Erick Mathoho (Chiefs), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Keagan Dolly (Ajax), Dean Furman (Doncaster/ENG), Andile Jali (Ostend/BEL), Oupa Manyisa (Pirates), Mandla Masango (Chiefs), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Twente/NED), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren/BEL), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Wits), Themba Zwane (Sundowns)

Strikers: Bongani Ndulula (AmaZulu), Bonginkosi Ntuli (Sundowns), Tokelo Rantie (Bournemouth/ENG), David Zulu (Chippa)

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