Mauritius v South Africa Preview

2016 CHAN Qualifier | Sunday 5 July | Anjalay Stadium | 13:00




South Africa travel to Mauritius this weekend to complete their 2016 African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier against the Islanders, whom they thrashed 3-0 in the first leg at Donsonville Stadium  two weeks ago. The winners on aggregate will advance to the final round of qualifying against either Angola or Swaziland for next year’s showpiece set to take place in Rwanda during January and February.


To Win (90mins)
Mauritius 4/1
Draw 28/10
South Africa 6/10

MAURITIUS

Mauritius come into this match in dreadful form and with little hope of overturning the three goal deficit. The minnows were hammered 7-1 by African giants Ghana in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last month before being humbled once more by Bafana Bafana.

They took part in the 2015 Cosafa Cup in May where they failed to impress once again. They lost their first two group games 2-0 to Zimbabwe and Namibia. However, the tournament did give them a golden opportunity to break their nine game winless streak that stretched back to 2013 when they beat their neighbours Seychelles, 1-0 in their final group game.

The Dodos, as they are affectionately known, are ranked a low 176th in the world rankings, 107 places off South Africa. The Chan tournament allows for only players playing in their domestic leagues to represent their nation. Unlike most African nations, the Mauritians will use the majority of their usual squad as their full strength team is made up of mainly local based players.



SOUTH AFRICA

A brace from Siphelele Ntshangase inspired Bafana Bafana to their 3-0 win over Mauritius in their first leg. Shakes Mashaba's side dominated the match early-on and broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Marc van Heerden picked out Thamsanqa Gabuza at the back post for the easiest of tap-ins. The lead was doubled two minutes later, as Ntshangase latched onto a well-weighted pass, before firing a low effort into the back of the net. Bafana managed to add a third just before the half-time break, as Ntshangase did well to create space for himself in the box before firing a low effort into the far corner.

Mashaba had to scrape together a squad for the first leg after leading PSL clubs Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Bidvest Wits, Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United all decided to recall their players after Bafana’s Afcon qualifiers against Gambia and Angola. Pirates were in preparation for their Caf Confederations trip to Congo but with that out the way Mashaba recalled defenders Thabo Matlaba and Ntsikelelo Nyauza to his 18-man squad. However, the duo have since pulled out, along with Marc van Heerden who is suffering from an Achilles tendon injury. Mashaba and his technical team will draft in two replacements.

The withdrawn trio join Vuyisile Wana, who was removed from Bafana contention with a knee injury, and has been replaced by Thabo Mnyamane. Mnyamane made his Bafana debut against Swaziland in March this year, and scored in the 3-1 victory at the Somhlolo Stadium.

Bafana Squad (15 of 17):
Goalkeepers: Jackson Mabokgwane (Black Aces), Itumeleng Khune (unattached)
Defenders: Wandisile Letlabika (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tshepo Gumede (Orlando Pirates), Kwanda Mngonyama (Maritzburg United)
Midfielders: Gift Motupa (Orlando Pirates), Thabang Monare (Jomo Cosmos), Musa Nyatama (Bloemfontein Celtic), Mandla Masango (unattached), William Twala (Chippa United)
Strikers: Bonginkosi Ntuli (AmaZulu), Thamsanqa Gabuza (Orlando Pirates), Ndumiso Mabena (Platinum Stars), Siphelele Ntshangase (Black Leopards), Thabo Mnyamane (University of Pretoria)

Betting Verdict: SOUTH AFRICA WIN 6/10
Bafana should control the match as they did in the first leg. Mauritius have failed to win their last four home games, drawing with Togo and Burundi in friendlies and losing to Zimbabwe and Mauritania in Afcon qualifiers. South Africa are by far the better footballing nation and even this fringe squad should come away with the victory. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!