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Steve Komphela's side won't be intimidated in Ethiopia

By unknown | Jun 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Steve Komphela, head coach of the national Under-23 squad, left for Ethiopia yesterday oozing confidence that his charges will do well in a group stage qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Olympics against Ethiopia on Sunday.

They meet the Ethiopians at Addis Ababa Stadium at 3pm SA time.

"We are going to Ethiopia to compete as much as we can and I don't have any doubts in my mind that the players will be equal to the task out there," Komphela said.

His confidence is justified considering his charges' inspired all-round display in their All African Games qualifiers.

Komphela might have lost one of the most inspirational midfielders in the country in Ajax Cape Town's Clifford "Robot" Ngobeni because of an injury, but he has other midfielders worth their salt in the squad.

The likes of Bernard Parker, Richard Rantjie, Masilo Modubi and Philani Shange are all capable of causing havoc for the Ethiopians in the midfield department.

The South Africans are equally capable in other departments after Lebohang Mokoena recovered from a hamstring injury to add value upfront where he is likely to start alongside Lerato Chabangu.

Another plus for Komphela is that he will have Innocent Mdledle at the back where he will be complemented by the likes of Thapelo Tshilo and James Madidilane.

Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune might be out due to illness, but this should not cause too many headaches for the visitors in Ethiopia because Komphela has equally good goal minders in Senzo Meyiwa and Andre Petim.

Komphela said: "We are not going to undermine the Ethiopians but still we will refuse to be intimidated by them.

"This is a very crucial game for both teams and we will tread cautiously throughout the match."


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