Even though this year’s 20th edition of the Nelson Mandela challenge match between South Africa and Ivory Coast falls outside the FIFA international dates, both sides are relishing the showpiece on Sunday in Nelspruit.

This annual match first played in 1994 honors the late Nelson Mandela and also helps to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Ivory Coast are featuring for the second time.

The last time they played the prestigious tournament was in 2011 and drew 1-1 with the hosts South Africa. Bafana Bafana have not yet won a game since 2009 when the side edged Norway to claim the honors.

The encounter will be coach Shakes Masaba’s first match since guiding the nation to next year’s AFCON in Equatorial Guinea. Masaba hopes his team will score and keep a clean sheet ahead of the continental showdown in January.

We will go out there and do our best and hopefully continue with our record of not losing. We will try to score goals and keep a clean sheet for the morale of the team heading to Equatorial Guinea.

Ivory Coast coach, Nerve Renard announced his 20-man squad but he had to leave out the likes of Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Wilfred Bony, Cheick Tiote and other top European stars.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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