DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) – South Africa coach Gordon Igesund has recalled four European-based players to play Malawi in their last friendly before he announces the final squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Uncapped midfielder Ayanda Patosi, will return from Belgian outfit Lokeren for the December 22 clash in Durban.
Siyanda Xulu from Russian club Rostov, Sweden’s Helsingborg midfielder May Mahlangu and Malmo striker Tokelo Rantie were also included in Igesund’s 24-man squad unveiled Tuesday in Durban.
The second uncapped player is Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
“I have been using the past five matches to look at various players and this one against Malawi is no different,” said Igesund.
“The only difference is that this is the last chance for me and my technical team to have a final look at what we have at our disposal.”
An enlarged group will go on a mini training camp December 27-30, and the final squad for the Nations Cup hosted by South Africa will be announced on the last day.
“We initially intended to name the final squad after the match against Norway on January 9, but after careful consideration, we have decided to name the squad at the end of our upcoming December camp so that when we start the January camp we have all the players we are going to use in the Afcon tournament,” said Igesund.
Many players left out of the friendly squad have been included for the 36-strong camp. These include Darren Keet, Eric Mathoho, Anele Ngcongca, Andile Jali, Teko Modise, Bongani Khumalo, Ricardo Nunes, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Dean Furman, Thulani Serero.
Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela and Pirates’ Benni McCarthy, both freshly returned from injuries, will also join the training.
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Malawi, Norway and Algeria in friendlies before the continental tournament kicks off in Johannesburg January 19.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations runs from January 19 to February 10.
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Senzo Meyiwa (Orlando Pirates)
Defenders: Bevan Fransman (SuperSport Utd), Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Siyabonga Sangweni (Pirates), Siyanda Xulu (Rostov/RUS), Siboniso Gaxa (Chiefs), Tsepo Masilela (Chiefs), Thabo Matlaba (Pirates)
Midfielders: Oupa Manyisa, Sifiso Myeni and Daine Klate (Pirates), Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), May Mahlangu (Helsingborg/SWE), Delron Buckley (Maritzburg Utd), Lerato Chabangu (Swallows), Thuso Phala (Platinum Stars), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren/BEL)
Strikers: Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro (Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo/SWE)