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We will play like it’s a cup final - Igesund

Written By Themba Khumalo on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bafana Bafana have completed their preparations for the all-important international friendly match against World and European Champions Spain urging the country to rally behind the boys.

He further promised that his charges will approach Tuesday’s friendly as a cup final.

The much-anticipated clash will take place on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at the home of South African football, the FNB Stadium.

Kickoff is at 21h00.

Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund took the players through another training session working on various aspects of the game.

All players have a clean bill of health, including defender Thabo Matlaba who has been under medical observation since he was stretchered off in the friendly match against neighbours Swaziland on Friday, 15 November in Mbabane.

Matlaba managed to train with the team on Sunday and Monday.

Igesund is happy with the way preparations have gone over the two days.

“Spain are taking this match as serious as we do because as World champions you are successful because you do well, so they would not want to come here and be defeated. No player at this level holds back on the field of play because they have many quality players in the Spanish squad. So that will give us a very good game,” said Igesund.

“We will play this match like it is a cup final, and I am going to use three strikers to make my intentions clear. Spain will come out with guns blazing but we are prepared for it. “

Fresh from being named the South Africa Sports Star of the Year on Sunday night (17 November) at a glittering function at Sun City, Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune said his focus was firmly on the clash against Spain.

“It is every player’s dream to face the World Champions. All the players are excited and eager to play this match. We want to do the country proud so we will go out there and give it our best,” said Khune.
South Africa and Spain have met three times with La Roja winning all three encounters.

The first time was in a World Cup group stages match in the 2002 Korea and Japan tournament. The other two meetings were in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Only four players of the current Bafana Bafana squad played the last match – Khune, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Bernard Parker.

Spain will round off their preparations at FNB Stadium tonight at 19h30 with their final training session. Prior to that, they will have a press conference at 18h45 at the same venue.

- SAFA
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