Ngobeni, Davids brought into Bafana fold

Bafana Bafana head coach Joel Santana was forced to make two last-minute changes to his squad ahead of their departure for Leverkusen, Germany for a friendly with the World Champions scheduled for Saturday.

Out are veteran midfielder anchorman Macbeth Sibaya of Russian outfit Ruban Kazan and Greek-based right back Bryce Moon who plays for Panathinaikos.

Santana has called up two Ajax Cape Town players Lance Davids and Clifford Ngobeni as replacements. Davids, who has already played 16 times for his country but failed to get a game during June’s Confederations Cup, is versatile and can play either in a defensive midfield role or at rightback.
He will be keen to get a run against either Germany or Ireland in Limerick on September 8 and keep in the frame for a place in Santana’s 2010 World Cup squad.

It is Johannesburg-born Ngobeni’s first call up and the 22-year-old will be keen to stake his claim for a place in the squad either against Germany or against a strong Irish side in Limerick next Tuesday.

The injuries were confirmed by Bafana team manager Sipho Nkumane on Monday: “We are busy checking on all 24 players the coach named last week for the two friendly matches.

“We are hoping the other locally-based players assemble [at the OR Tambo Airport] on Tuesday injury free but we are prepared if we have to make more last minute changes.”

The European based players in the squad will meet up with their teammates in Leverkusen on Wednesday.

The fact that Moon is ruled out could also open the door for unknown rightback Anele Ngongca who plays for Genk, in Belgium, to
make his Bafana debut on the trip. Siboniso Gaxa of Mamelodi Sundowns was the preferred rightback in the Confederations Cup where Bafana finished fourth but Santana has promised to blood more new players and give other fringe players a chance during the seven friendly matches Bafana will play during the remainder of 2009.—Sapa