SA hoping for a great start against Zambia – Notoane

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South African Under-23 national team will be looking for a great start when they take on Zambia in the junior African Cup of Nations Group B match in Egypt on Saturday.

South Africa knocked out Angola and Zimbabwe in the knockout rounds that enabled them to qualify for the eight nations tournament. SA coach David Notoane is looking forward to the match with their Southern Africa neighbours.

SA travelled to the tournament with only 15 players due to the unavailability of some of their key players and injury forced absentees.

Some of the teams refused to release their players due to the tournament not falling in the FIFA calendar. Notoane says some of the players will join them during the FIFA international week.

SA played two friendly matches against the host nation Egypt recently. Notoane says they are familiar with the conditions.

Captain Tercious Malepe was fortunate to be released by his team Chippa United after he was sent off in a match against Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend.

He joined the team late alongside Sundowns striker Keletso Makgalwa, who replaced the injured Phakamani Mahlambi. – Report by Vincent Sitsula