Pienaar to lead Bafana against Burkina Faso

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pretoria - Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has recalled Tottenham sensational midfielder, Steven Pienaar, to his 23-man squad to face Burkina Faso in an international friendly match on 10 August.

Other recalled players include Thulani Serero, Thanduyise Khuboni and defender Bongani Khumalo, who missed the last crucial Bafana match against Egypt in Cairo in June due to injuries.

The match, which will be played on Wednesday August 10, at Ellis Park stadium and will be used to fine-tune Bafana ahead of their important 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Niger away in September. Kick-off is 8:15pm.

However, Mosimane has kept the core of the team that did duty against Egypt in the return leg of the 2012 AFCON qualifier played in Cairo.

"We will have all our players back, which means we will have a very strong team to take on Burkina Faso as we are building towards Niger.

"But it will be a difficult game in that most of our players are not really match fit, as some come off from injuries, whilst most of them are just completing their pre-season training.

"This match is a continuation of what we did in the goalless draw against Egypt, more so because we have a very short camp so there is not much to do," he said.

Just like Bafana Bafana, Burkina Faso have also dropped two places in the FIFA world rankings and are now in position 39, but remain fourth on the continent.

"This clash is important in that it will give us a good chance to prepare thoroughly for the match against Niger. Burkina Faso is a West African side with the same style, mentality and physique like Niger. They are very big and strong and also play a fast game, so they will give us the test we need before we head off to Niamey," he said.

Mosimane's team will assemble for camp on Sunday, August 7 at the Southern Sun Monte Casino Hotel in Fourways.

They will have two afternoon training sessions on Monday and Tuesday at the Ellis Park Stadium, while Burkina Faso is expected in South Africa on Monday, 8 August.

Bafana players

Goal keepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands.
Defenders: Morgan Gould, Tebogo Langerman, Tsepo Masilela, Siboniso Gaxa, Bongani Khumalo, Anele Ngcongca, Siyabonga Sangweni and Happy Jele.
Midfielders: Kagisho Dikgacoi, Hlompho Kekana, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Steven Pienaar, Tlou Segolela, Andile Jali, Simphiwe Tshabalala and Thanduyise Khuboni.
Strikers: Thulani Serero, Bernard Parker, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Katlego Mphela and Kermit Erasmus.