Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana will hope to retain the Nelson Mandela Challenge trophy when they host Ivory Coast on Sunday afternoon at Mbombela Stadium.
Kick-off is at 15:00.
The match is seen as a replay of the 2011 challenge where these African giants played to a 1-all draw at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Although South Africa coach Shakes Mashaba’s preparations have been dealt a huge blow with players having to pull-out of the team as the clash doesn’t fall within the Fifa calendar, the squad has fully assembled with the new call ups and it looks like, despite the issues, Mashaba’s boys are ready.
“Cote D’Ivoire are one of the best footballing nations in the continent and their junior teams have done very well,” said Mashaba.
“It’s not going to be an easy walk on the park and there’s got to be grit, sweat and all this.
“We’re looking at drubbing them and we’d like to see people donating because we’d like to see (Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund/Children’s hospital) this project going on.”
On the other hand, the Ivorians have brought a squad without big name players. Their camp has also been hit with speculation regarding the future of coach Herve Renard who’s rumoured to be on the verge of parting ways with them.
The coach has allegedly labelled the Ivorian Football Federation as unprofessional due to his accommodation issues.
Nevertheless, with both countries having qualified for the upcoming CAF Africa Nations Cup tournament next January in Equatorial Guinea, the match is set to be a cracker as both coaches would like to maintain high spirits in their respective camps.