South Africa leaves out striker Mphela for opener

GERALD IMRAY AP Sports Writer Published:

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South Africa left striker Katlego Mphela out of its starting lineup for the opening game of the African Cup of Nations on Saturday as coach Gordon Igesund finally revealed his team.

Igesund's selection was a closely guarded secret through the host's final shaky buildup to a tournament it is under pressure to perform in after a string of lackluster performances.

Against tournament debutant Cape Verde, Igesund picked newcomer and forward Lehlohonolo Majoro to start with Mphela on the bench. Majoro will partner Bernard Parker up front, while defender Bongani Khumalo is captain.

Oldham midfielder Dean Furman was also one of the substitutes.

Cape Verde was set to start with its two best known players in its first game at a major tournament: captain Fernando Neves and Lille forward Ryan Mendes.