THE PLAYERS WHO INSPIRED BAFANA
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.
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.
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.
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.