PRAIA, Cape Verde - With the exception of Turkish-based striker Tokelo Rantie, Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter now has a full complement of players here following the national team’s arrival on Tuesday night ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Friday.
The local contingent had endured a 12-hour long, but reasonably comfortable, charter flight from Johannesburg to Praia, while their European counterparts in Keagan Dolly, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu, Andile Jali, Thulani Serero and Kermit Erasmus met them at the Pestana Tropico Hotel. Rantie was only expected to catch a flight from Istanbul on Wednesday.
Baxter will now squeeze in just two training sessions at the Estadio Nacional, the match venue, which is an artificial pitch before the all-important game. Bafana’s only other practice was on Monday on an astroturf in Soweto, but that was without the overseas-based players.
The temperatures in Cape Verde were much warmer than in South Africa upon arrival, but Bafana might still need some adjusting given the recent cold weather for most of the players that make up the bulk of the squad.
Danny Jordaan, the South African Football Association (Safa) president, has travelled with the national team for Friday’s World Cup qualifier, which will be followed by another one in Durban next Tuesday against the same opponent.
Safa also extended an invitation to Sports and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi.
Bafana Bafana squad: Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Reyaad Pieterse, Wayne Sandilands. Defenders: Morgan Gould, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Clayton Daniels, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Abbubaker Mobara, Tebogo Langerman, Sifiso Hlanti. Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Keagan Dolly, Andile Jali, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Dean Furman, Themba Zwane, Bongani Zungu, Thulani Serero. Strikers: Daylon Claasen, Percy Tau, Lebogang Manyama, Tokelo Rantie, Bradley Grobler, Kermit Erasmus.