johannes called up

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Robyn Johannes has been called-up for the Bafana Bafana 2010 World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria.

He replaces Sundowns teammate Benson Mhlongo, who was ruled out for the game against the Super Eagles away on Sunday, after sustaining an injury.

The hard-working Johannes has a wealth of international experience after playing for the Under-23s, where he was also the captain.

"Our medical personnel are satisfied that Benson is injured, we have replaced him with Robyn," said Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana manager.

Mhlongo got injured at training last Wednesday while preparing for their Nedbank Cup final against Mpumalanga Black Aces.

For the record The Brazilians won the match 1-0 on Saturday. (For the reports of the final see page 35.)

Nkumane said they were expecting all the players, including Benni "Magic Feet" McCarthy, to report for the first training this afternoon.

"We have not heard anything that suggests any of the players selected and announced last week will not be available."

Nkumane also confirmed the arrival of Brazilian physical trainer Francisco Gonzales for the qualifying matches.

"He is going to focus a lot on physical training in the next few days. We want to make sure that everybody is super-fit going to Abuja."

Bafana Bafana will have a training match against Isihlangu of Swaziland at Germiston Stadium on Thursday, starting at 4pm.

The game will give new Bafana Bafana coach Joel "Mr Jackpot" Santana a chance to see everybody in action prior to going to Nigeria.

The Swazis are guided by former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, the Orlando Pirates manager who will be in charge for only two months.

While Bafana Bafana are sharpening themselves up for the game against Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday (5pm South African time), Swaziland welcome Togo the following weekend.

South Africa will leave for Nigeria on Friday on a charter flight at 10am and will return soon after the game.

Mashaba started his job with a 1-1 draw against the new-look Likoena of Lesotho in a friendly in Mbabane on Friday night.

On Wednesday, Lesotho beat Mozambique 3-2 in Maputo.

Nigeria play an away friendly against Australia tomorrow.