“We want to prove to the nation that we deserve the call-up,” says Siyabonga Ngezana speaking from the Bafana Bafana camp in Polokwane. “To be able to conquer Africa we have to start with winning the Cosafa Cup. This is also a chance for us to showcase our individual talents.”
South Africa will play Madagascar in the quarterfinal of the 2018 Cosafa Cup in Polokwane. The clash takes place at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday 3 June, at 15:00. Madagascar finished top of Group A.
“I got the news about the call-up via WhatsApp messages from my Kaizer Chiefs teammates,” reflects Ngezana on the breaking news of his call-up. “I was asleep at the time and realised that my name was in the squad through those messages. I immediately called my parents to express my jubilation. I switched on the TV Sports Blitz channel and saw a repeat of the announcement. I couldn’t believe that I made the 24, because many were in contention for places to be called up.
“I was well received by the technical team,” Ngezana shares the memories of his arrival at the Bafana Bafana camp. “Some players I knew from Under-20 level like Portugal-based Luther Singh. I immediately felt at home, especially with my Chiefs teammates Ryan Moon, Bruce Bvuma and Wiseman Meyiwa also being there. I got a sense from training that coach Stuart Baxter has been closely monitoring my game.”
This will be his first time with South Africa’s senior level, as he couldn’t fulfill a previous call-up as a result of having exams. Ngezana comments, “This is a different level. It is a mature stage of the game. What’s great is that Baxter gives you a chance to express yourself and he challenges your own views as well.”
Ngezana fancies Bafana Bafana’s chances in the quarterfinals. He concludes, “The coach watched Madagascar play. We will be doing our best to produce what we practiced at training. We feel positive to reach the next stage. It is not going to be easy because all the teams came here to win, but as the host nation we should be the team to beat.”