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DOHA - Promising Oupa Manyisa looks set to replace the influential Sibusiso Hadebe in the starting line-up when South Africa take on Egypt in a Doha International Friendly Youth Soccer tournament semifinal today at 6.15pm (SA time).
Hadebe, who is one of the favourites to walk away with the player of the tournament award, was ruled out by the team's doctor Emphraim Nematswerani after yesterday's training session.
The young and talented Jomo Cosmos' player was injured (hamstring) when South Africa lost 1-0 to Qatar on Thursday night in their last Group A match in this Under-23s' tournament, which forced the technical staff to replace him.
"Sibusiso is out, so is Nhlanhla Shabalala," said Nematswerani.
Despite the injuries to Hadebe and Shabalala, coach Steve Komphela yesterday remained confident that Lance Davids and company would tear the Egyptians to pieces.
"We have equally talented boys like Manyisa and Nhlanhla (Vilakazi) despite their lack of international experience. I saw their (Egypt) two matches when they beat Bahrain and Belarus (both 2-0). They are strong on the right but that should not be a problem for us because right-back Vincent Kobola has been great in that flank," said Komphela.
Hadebe, who was rested by the medical personnel for three days, was devastated by the news that he won't play today.
"It's sad but there is nothing I can do. I was looking forward to being part of the winning team against Egypt," said Hadebe, who scored the only goal when South Africa beat Japan 1-0 in their opening match.
l Ramatsiyi Moholoa is in Qatar as a guest of Safa and Sasol