June 18, 2019 / 2:03 AM / 3 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile on South Africa team for 2019 African Cup of Nations

June 18 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Cup of Nations qualifiers South Africa.

African Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (9) 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015

Best performance: Winners 1996

Drawn in Group D with the Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia.

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Coach: Stuart Baxter

This is a second spell in charge for the 65-year-old Englishman but the first time he has taken them to a major tournament.

He was appointed in 2004 with an eye on the 2010 World Cup, which the country was to host, but after blowing a strong position in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers Baxter left the job.

He went onto coach Finland but returned to South Africa to win two league titles with Kaizer Chiefs. He then returned to the national team post in 2017, again missing out on World Cup qualification after being in a good position.

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Key player: Percy Tau. Age: 25. Forward.

Hard working striker who moved to Brighton and Hove Albion last season but was then loaned out to Belgian side Union SG, where he was voted top player in the second division.

Work permit problems might affect his hopes of playing in the Premier League next season but if he makes a name for himself at the Cup of Nations that might prove a mitigating factor.

Played for Mamelodi Sundowns at the Club World Cup in 2016 and was named South Africa’s Player of the Season in 2018 after helping his club to league honours.

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FIFA world ranking June 2019: 72

How they qualified: Second placed team in Group E, behind Nigeria but ahead of Libya and the Seychelles.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits), Rowen Williams (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Daniel Cardoso (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Bidvest Wits), Sifiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Buhle Mkhawanazi (Bidvest Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs)

Midfielders: Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Thulani Serero (Vitesse Arnhem), Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers: Lebogang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba(Racing Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Saint Union Gilloise), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Mamelodi Sundowns). (Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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