11.01.2015 21:08 h

Injury-hit South Africa call up Gcaba

South Africa have called up Ayanda Gcaba to replace injured Patrick Phungwayo in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations squad.

A knee injury that failed to heal during a training camp in Gabon ruled out left-back Phungwayo from former African champions Orlando Pirates.

Centre-back Gcaba also plays for the Soweto-based Buccaneers and was a surprise choice given he played no part in the six-round qualifying competition.

He is an unlikely starter, however, for the first Group C match against title favourites Algeria on January 19 in eastern Equatorial Guinea town Mongomo.

Eric Mathoho seems certain to be one of the centre-backs in a 4-4-2 system with Rivaldo Coetzee and Thulani Hlatshwayo contesting the other slot.

Coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba will probably choose Anele Ngcongca -- one of five Europe-based footballers in the squad -- and Thabo Matlaba as his full-backs.

Bafana Bafana (The Boys) also face Senegal and Ghana is what is considered the toughest of the four mini-leagues with the top two finishers advancing to the knockout phase.