Stuart Baxter on Sunday afternoon named his final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt later this month.
he Bafana Bafana coach had to trim the team down from 30 players to the required number just before the national team departs for a mini-camp in Dubai, where they will face Ghana before heading to Cairo. They have also secured another practice match against Angola just before their opener against Ivory Coast on June 24. Namibia and Morocco complete Bafana’s Group D.
Baxter’s job was perhaps made easier by the withdrawal of three defenders in Rivaldo Coetzee, Joel Untersee, Nikola Tavares as well as midfielder Keagan Dolly. The Mamelodi Sundowns defender had asked to go home to see his gravely ill mother, but never reported back to camp and Baxter said he’d essentially become “unselectable”. Untersee and Tavares, who play for Empoli and Crystal Palace respectively, could not get their South African passports in time, while Dolly suffered a groin injury.
The coach only had to drop three players – Ben Motshwari, Fortune Makaringe and Kermit Erasmus.
Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits ), Rowen Williams (Supersport), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs).
Defenders: Daniel Cardoso (Chiefs) , Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Innocent Maela (Pirates), Sifiso Hlanti (Wits ), Buhle Mkhawanazi (Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City).
Midfielders: Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Downs), Dean Furman (SS), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Tiyani Mabunda (Downs), Thulani Serero (Vitesse), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Themba Zwane (Downs)
Strikers: Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Royal St Union), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Lebogang Maboe (Downs), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Downs)