Wednesday, April 21, 2010

South Africa confirm North Korea friendly, Estonia match called off

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany — World Cup hosts South Africa on Tuesday confirmed a second friendly during their training camp in Germany as they will take on North Korea on Thursday, April 22.

Bafana Bafana will take on the Asians at 6 p.m. local time with the match to be played at the SV Wehen Wiesbaden Stadium in Frankfurt.

North Korea had originally wanted to face South Africa at their training camp in Spain but changed their minds and will travel to Germany for the encounter.

The time and location of South Africa's friendly against China was also confirmed on Tuesday with the sides to do battle on Wednesday, April 28 at the Offenbach Kickers FC Stadium with kickoff at 8:30 p.m.

The ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano caused the cancellation of a third friendly as Estonia have said they cannot leave their base in northern Europe for the planned match on Saturday, April 24.

Still, South African football officials are happy to have confirmed at least a second friendly for their Germany camp, which runs until the end of April.

"It has been difficult trying to get practice matches but now we are elated that we managed to secure DPR Korea," said South African team manager Sipho Nkumane, who held out hope the Estonia match may yet go ahead.

South African coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has complained recently about the lack of top-level friendly matches.

Nkumane said that was why games against the second teams of Nurnberg and amateur club SPVGG Greuther Furth were called off.

South Africa will also take on Denmark on June 5 in Johannesburg before opening the World Cup on June 11 against Mexico in Johannesburg. END

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