OMDURMAN – South Africa’s quest to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations begins this evening when they face Group A rivals Sudan in Omdurman at the El Merreikh Stadium.
Catch the action live on SS3 HD and will also be available via live streaming.
The match will also mark Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba’s first in charge of Bafana Bafana since being appointed the new coach in July.
Shakes has picked a youthful, inexperienced squad for the match against Sudan and reigning African champions Nigeria, which takes place next midweek.
However, the squad has been hit by a few withdrawals, with the loss of first choice goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune (who was by far and away the most experienced player in the squad) a particularly severe blow.
Exciting attacking midfielder Ayanda Patosi is also ruled out after missing his connection from Belgium. However, Mashaba says he is happy with the group of players.
“I am glad with this group of players I am travelling with. We are going there to fight, make no mistake,” said Mashaba.
However, Sudan will be no pushovers, especially on home soil. The Falcons of Jediane lost 3-1 to Zambia in a warm-up friendly, but coach Mohamed “Mazda” Abdallah insists they are determined to overcome Bafana.
“The 3-1 loss to Zambia in an international friendly has made us even [more] hungry to stop South Africa. The boys are geared up towards that game and will die a little for the country,” said Mazda.
Bafana and Sudan have never met before in senior competition. The North-East African reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, but did not qualify for the 2013 tournament hosted in South Africa. -Reuters