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23.10.2003 Football News

South Africa ready for Ghana

By Independent Online
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With the exception of Nasief Morris, all of the rest of the Amaglug-glug - South Africa's U-23 team - squad were ready to fly up to Accra on Wednesday afternoon for the vital Olympic qualifying game against Ghana on Sunday.

Former Santos defender Morris, who now plays for top Greek outfit Panathinaikos, played for his club against Stuttgart in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night, and will therefore only join up with his team-mates on Thursday.

There were worries that Manqoba Ngwenya of Sundowns and Manning Rangers goalkeeper Chad Harpur would not make the trip after they failed to attend a training session for the squad.

Team manager Conti Kubheka was concerned that the Brazilians would not release Ngwenya, but according to Sundowns managing director, Nastasia Tsichlas, Sundowns have released the player "out of our own good grace".

Harpur seemed to be uninformed as to where and when he was supposed to meet up with the squad, but that problem was also sorted out, and the former Millwall 'keeper had flown up to Johannesburg by yesterday afternoon.

Amaglug-glug now have their strongest possible squad available to them, with the only exception being the absence of Ajax Amsterdam playmaker, Steven Pienaar, who had to withdraw from the team because of his commitments to the senior national side.

The under-23's will have to be at their best if they are to take anything from Ghana, who have called up the likes of Abubakari Yakubu (Ajax Amsterdam) and John Mensah (Chievo Verona, Serie A).

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