14 January 2013

South Africa: Bafana Start Final Week of Preparations for Afcon 2013

Photo: Buanews
South African soccer fans.

Bafana Bafana returned to training on Monday morning (14 January 2013) after enjoying a much-needed day off on Sunday (13 January) following their international friendly match against Algeria on Saturday evening at the Orlando Stadium.

The match ended in a goalless draw.

The players were back at the same venue where they are putting final touches before the start of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations South Africa 2013 that kicks off on Saturday, 19 January at the National Stadium, just outside Soweto.

Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi watched from the sidelines as he is nursing a slight knee injury he picked in Saturday's match with Algeria.

"It is nothing too serious, the medical team is monitoring his progress and we will try and get him back into action as soon as possible. It is a manageable injury and at this stage we are not worried, I believe he will return to training soon," said Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund.

The players are in high spirits ahead of the start of this continental showpiece.

"Yes, we have to be excited. This is a very crucial week for us and we have to ensure that our preparations run smoothly so that we are ready for the opening match," said goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who, along with Dikgacoi, celebrated 50 caps on Saturday.

"The experience of playing in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, both on home soil should come in handy for Bafana Bafana in this tournament. We have all been working hard and mark my words, we will do well.

"We are not feeling any strain, even though pressure is always there whether you are winning or losing; ours is just to focus on the 90 minutes, win our first game and take it from there. I believe with the backing of the nation we will succeed."

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