Mashaba in fix over Mau­ri­ta­nia en­counter

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba is at pains to ex­plain his se­lec­tion cri­te­ria ahead of the must-win Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier against Mau­ri­ta­nia on Septem­ber 6.

Mashaba has con­tra­dicted him­self when try­ing to jus­tify his se­lec­tion and omis­sion of cer­tain play­ers, say­ing he went for cur­rent form. But this ar­gu­ment does not hold wa­ter as some of the se­lected play­ers have been in­ac­tive for more than a month.

While some wel­comed the re­turn of left full back Tsepo Masilela, oth­ers be­moaned the omis­sion of the likes of Happy Jele, Si­fiso Myeni, Thuso Phala, Kamo­h­elo Mokotjo and May Mahlangu. The se­lec­tion of Mandla Masango, Dean Fur­man and Mpho Makola has raised eye­brows as the trio has hardly seen ac­tion in the new sea­son.

Mashaba’s main con­cern is match fit­ness – five play­ers have not been get­ting enough game time.

Mashaba’s key striker Tokelo Rantie has not fea­tured in Bournemouth’s open­ing two games of the sea­son while cap­tain Fur­man joined Su­perS­port United only this week. Masango, who last played in the Chan qual­i­fier against Mau­ri­tius in July, has also gone to Den­mark’s Ran­ders.

Right back Anele Ng­con­gca also has is­sues with his Bel­gian side Genk af­ter a fall­out with the club’s head coach Peter Maes. Ajax Am­s­ter­dam midfielder Thu­lani Serero has been out of ac­tion with an an­kle in­jury.

Makola, who scored a brace against Chippa United mid­week, has been mostly used as a late sub­sti­tute at Or­lando Pi­rates.

To ex­ac­er­bate mat­ters, the PSL sea­son kicked off only a fort­night ago, mean­ing most play­ers would have played three com­pet­i­tive games be­fore the qual­i­fier.

But Mashaba has ac­cepted his fate say­ing there was noth­ing he could do.

“We are play­ing at a very cru­cial time when the league has just started and some play­ers are look­ing for greener pas­tures. But we se­lect the play­ers based on what they can of­fer,” he said.

He re­vealed that one player, be­lieved to be Mahlangu, came for­ward to say he should not be con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion as he was still try­ing to fi­nalise a con­tract.

PHOTO: SYD­NEY MAHLANGU / BACKPAGEPIX

IN A FIX Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba at pains to jus­tify his

squad se­lec­tion

PHOTO: LUKE WALKER / GALLO IM­AGES

UN­CER­TAIN Thu­lani Serero has been out of ac­tion due to an an­kle in­jury

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