South Africa coach Hugo Broos is demanding more aggression from his team when they face world champions France in a friendly football international on March 29 in Lille.
“Ghana started very aggressively and we did not counter that,” said the Belgian, referring to a 1-0 loss last November that eliminated South Africa from 2022 World Cup qualifying.
“I have made some changes that hopefully will improve the team. There are several players who have been performing well at club level and now we must see if they can adapt to international football.”
Those set to come under the spotlight include full-back Bandile Shandu and midfielder Goodman Mosele from Orlando Pirates and forward Fagrie Lakay from Egyptian club Pyramids.
Broos named a 23-man squad on Monday for matches against France and Guinea, who they will face at a Belgian venue on March 25.
South Africa are ranked 68th in the world – 65 places behind France – but Broos said he wanted to face a “big team”.
“There was talk about facing the Ivory Coast or Burkina Faso and then an opportunity to meet France came along, which we quickly accepted,” he said.
“I think France will field 80 to 90% of their top players, but I am sure the coach (Didier Deschamps) will also use the match to do some experimenting.
“We will experiment because this is the last chance to solve weaknesses before qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations begins in June.”
The three goalkeepers, nine defenders and six midfielders are based in South Africa while four of the five forwards play abroad, including Percy Tau from Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
South Africa defeated France 2-1 the last time they met, in a 2010 World Cup group match in Bloemfontein.
Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport Utd, capt)
Defenders: Lyle Lakay, Khuliso Mudau, Rushine de Reuck (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Terrence Mashego (Cape Town City), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch), Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune Utd), Bandile Shandu (Orlando Pirates), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Golden Arrows), Siyanda Xulu (clubless)
Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Mothobi Mvala (both Sundowns), Thabang Monare, Goodman Mosele (both Pirates), Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy), Keagan Dolly (Chiefs)
Forwards: Lyle Forster (Westerlo/BEL), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota Utd/USA), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids/EGY), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka), Percy Tau (Al Ahly/EGY)