THE PLAY­ERS WHO IN­SPIRED BAFANA

The Star Early Edition - - SOCCER -

SENZO MEYIWA

He came in with just one se­nior cap to his name and was el­e­vated to the cap­taincy in Itume­leng Khune’s ab­sence. In­stead of be­ing daunted by the chal­lenge, Meyiwa thrived as a leader and dished out bril­liant per­for­mances in the four matches he played be­fore he was cru­elly mur­dered. He kept clean sheets in all those matches, a feat that went a long way to­wards see­ing South

Africa se­cure qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

DEAN FUR­MAN

The mid­field dy­namo played in all the qual­i­fy­ing matches and per­formed bril­liantly ev­ery time, his toil in the heart of the field see­ing him fetch­ing, car­ry­ing and dis­tribut­ing the ball with some aplomb.

It was no co­in­ci­dence that he took over the cap­taincy for the fi­nal two matches – such was his pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on the team.

TOKELO RANTIE

Of­ten lam­basted by the fans for be­ing waste­ful, Rantie’s con­tri­bu­tion to Bafana Bafana book­ing their ticket to Equa­to­rial Guinea can­not be ig­nored. The Bournemouth striker was our top scorer with four goals, the one against Su­dan in Dur­ban a thing of beauty, as was his first strike against Nige­ria where he scored a brace to end Bafana’s fail­ure to score away to the Su­per Ea­gles.

ERICK MATHOHO

The Kaizer Chiefs man is one of the un­sung he­roes of Bafana Bafana’s qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign. He played ev­ery sin­gle minute in the qual­i­fiers and showed great heart and com­po­sure in the mid­dle of the de­fence. He won almost ev­ery aerial contest, and the tim­ing of his tack­les were su­perb. He also showed that he has the abil­ity to play out from the back and linked up well with his team­mates in cen­tral mid­field.

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