Ryaad Norodien will make his first start for the South African Men’s under-23 National Team in the CAF under-23 Africa Cup of National Tournament as head coach Owen da Gama made just one change to the team that defeated Tunisia 1-0 in the previous match of the competition. Norodien takes the place of Siphelele Ntshangase who starts from the bench. South Africa takes on Algeria in the semi-final this afternoon (Wednesday, 9 December) at Stade Leopold Senghor in Dakar, Senegal.
Kick off is at 20:30 South African time (18:30 local time). Jody February is in goals and will have regulars Tebogo Moerane, Abbubaker Mobara, Rivaldo Coetzee and Kwanda Mngonyama. Norodien joins the midfield that already has Keagan Dolly, Deolin Mekoa, Phumlani Ntshangase and Menzi Masuku, while Gift Motupa has been declared fit to lead the attack.
Motupa sustained an ankle injury in the clash against Tunisia but has recovered to take his place in the starting line-up. Dolly will again captain the side. According to the competition rules, if there is no winner after regulation time, extra time will be played, and if there is no change after the allocated 30 minutes of extra time, then a penalty shootout will ensue to determine the winner of the match.
Da Gama says: ‘We have done everything we need to do in preparation for this crucial match, and it is now up to you guys to go and do the business. We are just 90 minutes away from rewriting the history books. If there is a match that we ever needed to win, it is this one. With just one victory we are already in the final and in contention for a gold medal, also we have qualified for the Olympics and above that you could alter your careers forever as you will be performing on the big stage. The whole country is backing you, go out there and make them proud because you are here in Senegal as ambassadors. Win this match and ease off the pressure on yourselves. All the best.’
SA under-23 XI vs Tunisia:
Jody February (GK), Kwanda Mngonyama, Rivaldo Coetzee, Tebogo Moerane, Abbubaker Mobara, Keagan Dolly (c), Phumlani Ntshangase, Menzi Masuku, Deolin Mekoa, Ryaad Norodien, Gift Motupa
Subs: Ricardo Goss (GK), Kyle Peters (GK), Tshepo Rikhotso, Zitha Macheke, Denwin Farmer, Siphelele Ntshangase, Sibusiso Sibeko, Paseka Mako, Phakamani Mahlambi, Dumisani Zuma