South Africa coach Owen Da Gama has placed his faith in his two over-age players for the opening Rio 2016 match against Brazil.
Both Itumeleng Khune and Erick Mathoho will start SA’s Group A fixture against Brazil. Mathoho will partner Rivaldo Coetzee in central defence while Abbubaker Mobara and Deolin Mekoa assist from the full back positions.
Da Gama has named influential Mamelodi Sundowns star Keagan Dolly as the side’s captain with Kwanda Mngonyama and Rivaldo Coetzee his deputies.
‘Dolly has grown as a player in the past few months, and don’t forget he captained the side through the qualifiers in Senegal late last year. When we started with preparations of the Olympic qualification phase, Kwanda Mngonyama was the captain, while Rivaldo Coetzee led the COSAFA Castle Cup squad. This shows we have many leaders in the squad but only one player can wear the armband on the day,’ said Da Gama.
Mothobi Mvala and Gift Motupa will occupy the central roles in midfield with Aubrey Modiba and captain Dolly will do duty down the flanks.
Lille striker Lebo Mothiba has been given a chance to impress in attack as he lines up alongside Menzi Masuku.
The hosts famously lost 3-1 to South Africa in Sydney 16 years ago and enter the tournament as favourites and reigning silver medalists.
The match kicks off at 21:00.
South Africa starting lineup:
Khune; Mekoa; Mobara; Coetzee;Mathoho; Mvala; Motupa; Dolly (c);Modiba;Masuku; Mothiba
February; Moerane; Mngonyama; Malepe; Ntshangase; Sandows; Morris