Defender Rivaldo Coetzee has been ruled out of the crucial must-win clash against Senegal in the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 tournament. The match will be played on Friday, 23 January at the Stade de Mongomo. Coetzee played only 29 minutes in the opening match of the African soccer showpiece before pulling out due to a knee injury.
His place was taken by Siyabonga Nhlapho, who played at right-back while Anele Ngcongca moved to the central defence position alongside Thulani Hlatshwayo. Bafana Bafana lost the match 1-3. “Rivaldo has sprained the ligament behind the knee and we have ruled him out of the game against Senegal. He has not been ruled out of the tournament and we will continue to monitor him. He could be ready for our third group stages match against Ghana,” said Bafana Bafana Team Medico, Dr Thulani Ngwenya.
Coetzee also missed the warm-up match against Mali due to a knee injury. “It was actually a different knee, not the same one he injured before we played Mali. So he was not rushed but instead was fully fit to play. It was a new injury – this time he was injured behind the right knee, but the first injury was on the side of the left knee,” added the doctor. Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana will welcome back defender Eric “Tower” Mathoho as well as midfielder Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsholonyane.
Both players missed the opening clash against Algeria due to suspension. Letsholonyane was red-carded in the final AFCON 2015 qualifier against Nigeria in Uyo, while Mathoho received two bookings in the same fixture as well as the preceding one against Sudan in Durban.