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AFCON 2015: Bafana’s ‘group of death’

Bafana Bafana has been pitted against Senegal, Algeria and the Black Stars of Ghana in the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFcon) in their Group C dubbed the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’.

The jamboree, organised in Equatorial Guinea, got underway over the weekend all the way to February 8; and will see Shakes Mashaba’s men open their campaign against what will arguably be their toughest test in the group against Africa’s highest ranked nation in the FIFA rankings Algeria, on Monday, January 19.

The Dessert Warriors, crowned African champions in 1990, sit 18th on the global list and are widely tipped to finish on top of the group.

South Africa, who won AFCON in their first participation in the tournament in 1996, then move on to face the Lions of Teranga of Senegal on Friday.

It doesn’t get easier for Shakes’ men, who round-up their group fixtures with a clash against four-time champions Ghana on Tuesday, January 27.


South Africa

FIFA Rank: 52

Nickname: Bafana Bafana

Star players: Dean Furman (c) (Doncaster Rovers, England) Tokelo Rantie (AFC Bournemouth, England), Sibusiso Vilakazi (BidVest Wits, South Africa)

AFCON history: Champions (1996)


FIFA Rank: 37

Nickname: Black Stars

Star players: Asamoah Gyan (c) (Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France)

AFCON history: (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)


FIFA Rank: 18

Nickname: The Dessert Warriors

Star players: Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto, Portugal), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia, Spain)

AFCON history: Champions (1990)


FIFA Rank: 35

Nickname: Lions of Teranga

Star players: Mame Birame Diouf (Stoke City, England), Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle United, England), Sadio Mane (Southampton, England)

AFCON history: Runners-up (2002)

Bafana Bafana AFCON squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (KV Kortrijk), Brilliant Khuzwayo (Kaizer Chiefs), Jackson Mabokgwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces)

Defenders: Siyabonga Nhlapo (BidVest Wits), Ayanda Gcaba (Orlando Pirates), Anele Ngcongca (KRC Genk), Thulani Hlatshwayo (BidVest Wits), Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Ajax Cape Town), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Andile Jali (KV Oostende), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thami Sangweni (Chippa United), Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers), Thuso Phala (SuperSport United), Mandla Masango (Kaizer Chiefs), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates)

Forwards: Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (AFC Bournemouth), Bongani Ndulula (AmaZulu), Sibusiso Vilakazi (BidVest Wits) – @SabeloBoksburg.

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