China to test SA U-23s

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

The national Under-23 squad faces a tough match against China in their Sasol Eight Nations Tournament opener at Johannesburg Stadium today at 3.35pm, but coach Steve Komphela believes his charges will be equal to the task.

Though Komphela does not regard their clash against the Chinese as revenge, he emphasises that they will do all that they can to start the yearly showpiece on a winning note.

South Africa suffered an embarrassing 1-3 setback against China in the final of the tournament at Orlando Stadium last year. The Chinese had actually brought along an Under-21 side.

"We want to do well in this competition as it will instil a sense of confidence in the players. I will give those who are not playing regularly a chance to play in this tournament," said Komphela.

"We are taking this event seriously because it gives our players international experience and exposure."

Komphela said England-based forward Clive Moyo-Modise, who was expected in the country yesterday, would only arrive today.

Rest of the fixtures: Eldorado Park: Lesotho v Ghana (1pm); Johannesburg Stadium: Ivory Coast v Egypt (1pm); Eldorado Park: Cameroon v Botswana (3pm).