Jali Released From Bafana Bafana Camp

Belgium-based midfielder Andile Jali has been allowed to leave the Bafana Bafana camp as he will not be available for selection when South Africa takes on Angola in the second leg of Round of the 2018 World Cup qualifier.  The clash will be played on Tuesday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.  Kick off is at 19:00.

Jali was red-carded in the second half of the first leg that was held on Friday at Estadio Nacional de Ombaka in Benguela, Angola.  South Africa won the match 3-1 – with Jali scoring the third goal.  He is expected to leave camp later today (Monday, 16 November).

Bafana Bafana boss Shakes Mashaba says:  ‘Jali requested to be withdrawn from the team, and, after careful consideration, we felt as the technical team that since we are not going to use him it would be best to allow him to go.  We believe he will be better off spending the time with his family as he has to return to his club in Belgium soon after the match.  He showed a lot professionalism by training with the team on Sunday and gave his all as if he was going to be part of selection.’  Jali formed a formidable partnership in midfield with Bongani Zungu.  

Zungu says:  ‘We are very fortunate in the national team to have quality players in every position.  Yes, we will miss Andile but with the midfielders we have – the likes of Kamohelo Mokotjo and Dean Furman – any of them will do a great job on the day should they be given a chance.’  After a 15-hour journey on Saturday from Benguela in Angola, Bafana Bafana have settled down at their hotel in Durban.  South Africa, travelling together with their opponents Angola, flew from Benguela to Luanda in Angola, then took another flight  to Johannesburg before heading to the coastal city late at night.

Zungu says:  ‘We are very prepared for the second leg, we know what to expect and we know what is expected of us.  We want to go there, play entertaining football and win the game.  We have to be very careful in our play and not just go out haphazardly but ensure that we protect our lead.  It was important to get that win in Angola as it will serve as good motivation for the second leg, now we just need to continue where we left off.’  Meanwhile defenders Rivaldo Coetzee (wrist sprain) and Anele Ngcongca (ankle sprain) were assessed at the squad’s training session on Sunday afternoon (15 November) at People’s Park.  Coetzee managed to complete the training without any discomfort while Ngcongca sat out the session as he was feeling pain.

It is still not clear whether he will be able to train with the squad at their final session on Monday at the match venue.