SA U23 coach David Notoane admits it has been a difficult week for them having to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations with only 15 players.
The team open their AFCON Group B match campaign tonight against Zambia at the Al Salaam Stadium, Egypt (20:00).
Notoane was given a boost on Thursday when captain Tercious Malepe, goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto and forward Keletso Makgalwa joined the squad from their respective teams.
“Of course it’s been a big challenge because naturally we try to speak with the local clubs the tournament being outside of the FIFA week, we speak to the European clubs to make sure we have the best available talent for the tournament and unfortunately it was a give and take,” said Notoane.
“Some clubs were willing to give their players and others were not willing to give their players so at the moment we have 15 players with us, and the rest will join the tournament during the FIFA break and that’s what it is.”
Egypt 1-0 Mali
Cameroon 1-1 Ghana
Nigeria v Ivory Coast
South Africa v Zambia
By Ofhani Munyai