The team left OR Tambo Airport on Monday morning but despite looking a bit weary, the team which was met at San Jose International Airport by Costa Rican FA officials and a heavy local media contingent looked in high spirits and ready for the challenges.
Both coach Shakes Mashaba and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune who fielded questions from the media concurred that despite the punishing travelling schedule, they were ready to square up against one of the fastest rising teams in the world.
“We are excited to be here and have heard that Costa Rica have named their most possible powerful squad but I am glad because my boys always relishes playing against the world’s giants.
“I have brought a very exciting group of players who are eager to leave a lasting impression on this continent and come Thursday, fans should be in for a real treat,” said Mashaba whose squad was met by South Africa’s most overseas players who flew straight to San Jose, among them FC Twente, Kamohelo Mokotjo.
The team will be bolstered by the Orlando Pirates trio of Thabo Matlaba, Mpho Makola and Thamsanqa Gabuza who will join the rest of the squad on Thursday but will most likely miss the Costa Rican game.
“Everyone is excited to be here and matches against countries like Costa Rica are what bring the best in most professional players. I saw them play Brazil last month and the truth is they are a formidable side that will test our mental strength,” said goalkeeper Khune.
Khune said they followed closely top players like goalkeeper Keylor Navas of Real Madrid and captain Bryan Ruiz.
Striker Tokelo Rantie has withdrawn from the team after suffering a recurring thigh injury which has sidelined him from Bournemouth squad in the past few days.
BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD LIST FOR INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY MATCHES VS COSTA RICA AND HONDURAS
4 – 15 OCTOBER 2015
NO. PLAYER'S NAME CLUB
1. Jackson MABOKGWANE Mpumalanga Aces FC (SA)
2. Itumeleng KHUNE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
3. Ronwen WILLIAMS Supersport United FC (SA)
4. Anele NGCONGCA Troyes FC (France)
5. Thabo MATLABA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
6. Mzikayise MASHABA Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
7. Erick MATHOHO Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
8. Clayton DANIELS Supersport United FC (SA)
9. Rivaldo COETZEE Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)
10. Thulani HLATSHWAYO Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
11. Siyabonga NHLAPO Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
12. Mosa LEBUSA Ajax Cape Town (SA)
13. Andile JALI KV Oostende FC (BEL)
14. Dean FURMAN Supersport United FC (SA)
15. Bongani ZUNGU Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
16. Kamohelo MOKOTJO FC Twente (NED)
17. Jabulani SHONGWE Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
18. George LEBESE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
19. Mpho MAKOLA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
20. Ayanda PATOSI Lokeren FC (BEL)
21. Mandla MASANGO Randers FC (Denmark)
22. Sibusiso VILAKAZI Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
23. Thulani SERERO Ajax Amsterdam (NED)
24. Thamsanqa GABUZA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)