SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

8 January 2013

South Africa: Bafana Bafana Ready for Norway Test

Photo: CAF
South African players.

Coach Gordon Igesund will be able to view the progress of his players when Bafana Bafana take on Norway at the Cape Town Stadium at 20:30 on Tuesday evening. The 23-man Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) squad completed its preparations for the clash on Monday afternoon.

It will be a first match for the team since the announcement of the Afcon squad on 30 December.

Dean Furman was rested for the final practice session on Monday. The midfielder joined the Bafana camp on Sunday after playing in a third round FA Cup tie for Oldham Athletic against Nottingham Forest. Igesund will therefore select his line-up from the 22 available players who have all been given a clean bill of health.

'The bigger picture'

"Dean won't get a run as he has played a lot of games for his club in a short space of time, so we will rest him for tomorrow's match because the bigger picture is the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2013 tournament starting in less than two weeks," said Igesund.

He said he was confident that his players will do well against the 24th-ranked Norwegians, who arrived in South Africa on Friday night. Their squad is mostly home based and features seven newcomers.

"We want to win tomorrow night, but we are more focused on the tournament, so I won't be showing my hand fully as to which team will run out for the tournament, and also I don't want players getting injured before we begin our campaign," Igesund explained.

'We need a complete turnaround'

"We need a complete turnaround from the last six matches we played where I was looking at players. Now I have been able to spend some time with them and we are getting somewhere.

"I want to excite people with our play, and I want the players to play with flair, pace and passion and we can only do that when we have the crowd behind us," he added.

The two countries have met twice before with each recording a victory on home soil.

SA v NORWAY – HEAD to HEAD

28 March 2009

Royal Bafokeng Sport Palace, Phokeng South Africa 2-1 Norway (Parker 18’, Tshabalala 90’, Morten Pedersen 27’)

10 October 2009

Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo Norway 1-0 South Africa (Kjetil Waehler 48’)

Bafana Bafana depart for Johannesburg on Wednesday morning to prepare for their last international friendly before Afcon 2013, against Algeria, to be played at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday, 12 January.

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