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South African football captain to miss U.S. game

11-11-2010 14:35 BJT

JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Aaron Mokoena, captain of South Africa's national football team Bafana Bafana, was not included in the squad announced on Wednesday to play the U.S. in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Cape Town Stadium on Nov. 17.

This was one of several changes made by Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane, the South African Press Association (SAPA) reported.

In all, Mosimane has made eight changes to the side which drew 0-0 against Sierra Leone in Freetown in their 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier last month.

Siyanda Xulu, Matthew Pattison and Davide Somma will make their first appearances for South Africa.

Mokoena is being rested, along with midfielder Macbeth Sibaya. Striker Katlego Mphela and defender Bongani Khumalo, are injured.

South African media highlighted Somma's unusual situation.

Born in Johannesburg, he moved the U.S. when he was 12 and plays in the English Championship for Leeds United.

With an Italian passport, Somma is eligible to play for Italy, South Africa, or the U.S.

Somma comes in for Mphela, but Mosimane will not be putting him under pressure in his first game for South Africa. However, the coach wants to increase the competition for places in attack.

Mosimane does not expect Somma to solve his goal scoring problems overnight.

"I am happy to bring in Somma who I spoke to on Tuesday and he is keen to play for Bafana. It will not be easy for him in his first game, so we must be patient. But he deserves his chance."

Once Somma turns out for South Africa's national team, he will no longer be eligible for any other national team.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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