Bafana squad divides views
BAFANA Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba s squad announced this week for perhaps the two most crucial matches yet of his tenure the home and away Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon met with mixed reaction.
But four ex-Bafana players Sunday World spoke to a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker felt Mashaba got it right for the games on March 26 in Cameroon and March 29 in Durban that South Africa are likely to have to win to keep alive their hopes of reaching Gabon 2017. Goalkeeper
Itumeleng Khune, Jackson Mabokgwane, Darren Keet
Mark Anderson (7 caps for Bafana): Khune and Mabokgwane have not been playing for their clubs, but in big matches you want players with caps. Khune has experience. He played again for Kaizer Chiefs this week [in the 2-0 defeat to Platinum Stars] and the goals weren t his fault.
I m glad Darren has been recalled. He had one bad game in the 2013 Afcon opener against Algeria, then disappeared. He s doing well for his club [Kortrijk in Belgium]. Defence
Anele Ngcongca, Siyabonga Nhlapo, Asavela Mbekile, Thabo Matlaba, S fiso Hlanti, Cheslyn Jampies, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thulani Hlatshwayo
David Nyathi (45 caps): It s not a bad selection at all. Anele has played in Europe and has so much experience. Thabo Matlaba at left-back has played in the Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup. Having played Cameroon I know they re physical, but not so mobile. Full-backs like Matlaba and Ngcongca can trouble them.
At centre-back I don t think anyone would question the performances and choice of Coetzee, Mathoho and Hlatshwayo. Midfield
Andile Jali, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thulani Serero, Themba Zwane, William Twala, Jabulani Shongwe, Mpho Makola, Mandla Masango, Hlompho Kekana
Benson Mhlongo (36 Bafana caps): The midfield is strong. Dean Furman is not in the team, but has not settled at SuperSport United. We need strong defensive midfielders and Kekana and Jali will provide the protection the defenders need.
Mpho Makola can take free-kicks and shoot from range. Jabulani Shongwe is another player doing well at his club [Bidvest Wits]. He needs to show he can do it for Bafana. I was surprised to see William Twala, but we need wingers with pace. He s determined and can add value. Strikers
Thamsanqa Gabuza, Prince Nxumalo, Tokelo Rantie, Dino Ndlovu
Mark Williams (23 caps): I ve played against Cameroon and they are physical. It s not going to be easy for the strikers, but maybe that s why Shakes has Gabuza.
He s not your consistent striker who scores week in, week out locally, but Shakes has confidence in him because he gives 100%. He will get into those places where it hurts most, and that can be important playing on the continent.
Rantie has pace and he has done well for Bafana, but he is not playing for Bournemouth.
It s good to see Prince there. I worked with him at SuperSport United [as a strikers coach]. Roger de Sa is giving him confidence at Ajax Cape Town.
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