Mashaba in fix over Mauritania encounter
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.
IN A FIX Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba at pains to justify his
UNCERTAIN Thulani Serero has been out of action due to an ankle injury