Saturday, 15 February 2014

South Africa recall Serero for Brazil match

South Africa recall Serero for Brazil match

Last Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014, 21:52
South Africa recall Serero for Brazil match
South Africa recalled controversial midfielder Thulani Serero Friday for a March 5 Soweto friendly against 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil.

Coach Gordon Igesund axed the Ajax Amsterdam footballer last September after accusing him of faking injury to miss a World Cup qualifier with Botswana.

Igesund alleged injury-prone Serero wanted to "save" himself for a UEFA Champions League group game in Barcelona.

Although Serero insisted he was unfit, Igesund ignored him for a friendly against world champions Spain that South Africa surprisingly won 1-0 in Soweto.

"This is a great opportunity for us to continue from where we left off against Spain," said Igesund, who is under severe pressure after a series of dismal tournament results.

Bafana Bafana (The Boys) flopped as hosts of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 African Nations Championship and also failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Igesund debuted as national coach away to Brazil two years ago in a friendly the home team won 1-0 through a late goal from substitute striker Hulk.

That was the fourth match between the countries and record five-time world champions Brazil have won them all by one-goal margins.

After friendly victories in Soweto and Johannesburg, Brazil pipped Bafana 1-0 in the 2009 Confederations Cup semi-finals through a late Dani Alves goal off a free-kick.

Brazil have named 16 Europe-based professionals for Soweto -- including Barcelona striker and major drawcard Neymar -- and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will add several locals.

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs, capt), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport Utd).

Defenders: Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster/ENG), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Pretoria University), Thato Mokeke (SuperSport), Anele Ngcongca (Genk/BEL), Thabo Nthethe (Mamelodi Sundown), Siyanda Xulu (Rostov/RUS)

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Bongani Zungu (both Sundowns), Dean Furman (Doncaster/ENG), Daylon Claasen (Lech Poznan/POL), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace/ENG), Andile Jali (Ostend/BEL), Oupa Manyisa (Pirates), Lindokuhle Mbatha (Platinum Stars), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren/BEL), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam/NED), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs),

Strikers: Dino Ndlovu (SuperSport), Bernard Parker (Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (Bournemouth/ENG)
AFP -----------------------

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