La Roja visit a 'golden chance'

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Limpopo will roll out a red carpet for Bafana Bafana and La Roja of Chile, who will battle it out at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday at 8.30pm.

"It is a golden opportunity for Limpopo to showcase its hospitality ahead of the 2010 World Cup," said Nakedi Lekota, Safa Limpopo president.

Ironically, Lekota, a top Polokwane businessman, is also the head of delegation for Bafana.

"It's all systems go. We have been having a series of meetings with the law enforcement agencies to prepare for the game," said Lekota.

"We urge the people of Limpopo to once more show their passion for soccer by coming out in big numbers to support Bafana as we have done in July 2003."

The last time Bafana played in Polokwane was when they defeated Ivory Coast with Shakes Mashaba then in charge as coach.

Sipho Nkumane, Bafana manager, has confirmed that Free State Stars striker, Sthembiso Ngcobo, has been called-up as a replacement for the injured Steven Pienaar.

Bafana arrive in Polokwane this afternoon.

The boys will have their first training session at Seshego Stadium at 5pm.

Meanwhile, Chile arrived in the country yesterday but will only leave for Polokwane late tomorrow.

Jean Carlos Berliner, Chile's manager, said: "We are aware that Bafana have won their last five games and therefore think this will be a good challenge for us.

"Chile is currently engaged in the qualifiers of the 2010 Fifa World Cup where we are fighting hard to qualify and we believe that we have chosen the correct country to play against.

"We watched the last game against Zambia, where we are aware that it was a team that was made of locally-based players only, but we picked up that you play a different style from ours and that you are a physical side.

"We are obviously are familiar with your obvious overseas-based players like Benni McCarthy, whom I personally have great respect for. We will have all our training sessions in Johannesburg," said Berliner.