Heat turned up on Ngcongca
Bafana fullback Anele Ngcongca faces playing in 37 degree heat tomorrow when his Belgian club Racing Genk play in the UEFA Europa League.
Genk, who competed in the Champions League last season, have a precarious 2-1 lead in their tie against Kazakhstan side Aktobe and face having to try and defend their advantage in potentially insufferable heat away in the second leg on the fringes of the central Asian desert.
Genk’s squad traveled on a five-hour flight yesterday to spend an extra day acclimatising to the heat, which can reach a high of 45c, and a three-hour time difference, according to coach Mario Been, who is concerned about conditions. Usually clubs only travel one day before continental club tie.
Cape Town-born Ngcongca, who is now in his fifth season at the club, could be shifted from right back to the centre of defence as Genk hope to keep intact their one goal lead. Been has hinted he is tempted to use the South African’s experience in a key position.
But their hosts have an advantage in having scored an away goal in the first leg in Belgium last Thursday and would go through on the away goals rule if they win just 1-0.