mashego gets visa

ORLANDO Pirates' attacker Katlego Mashego has been granted a Schengen visa to join Bafana Bafana in Leverkusen, Germany, ahead of Saturday night's match.

ORLANDO Pirates' attacker Katlego Mashego has been granted a Schengen visa to join Bafana Bafana in Leverkusen, Germany, ahead of Saturday night's match.

Mashego's visa application was approved by the German embassy in Pretoria yesterday after he was roped in as a late replacement for injured Pirates teammate Teko Modise.

He left for Germany last night and will be part of the Bafana Bafana squad for their first training session later today.

"I am excited to be part of the national team setup for such big matches against both Germany and Ireland," said Mashego yesterday.

" Though I was not in the original squad for the two friendly matches, I was not disappointed at all because for me it was a motivation to pull up my socks."

Bafana manager Sipho Nkumane said: "We are delighted to announce that Katlego has been granted a visa to join us here in Germany. I don't doubt that he will make a meaningful contribution to the team if he is selected to play in these two matches."

Bafana, who have moved down one notch to 73rd spot on the Fifa world rankings released yesterday, arrived in Germany yesterday morning.

In the afternoon, coach Joel Santana took the players to a swimming pool at the hotel where they have been booked to loosen up after a nine-hour flight from Johannesburg.

This will be Bafana's first match after the embarrassing 3-1 defeat against Serbia in an international friendly at Super Stadium last month.

In Africa, the South Africans are 15th in the rankings with Ivory Coast on top of the standings on the continent and 20th globally.

Regarding the latest rankings, Nkumane said: "We had only one match that we lost against Serbia but we are working hard to improve our rankings.

"The plan is to do well in the two games against Germany and Ireland."

Nkumane also announced that injured Greece-based defender Bryce Moon was in Germany with the team to be inspected by their medical personnel.

"Bryce is injured on his right ankle."

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