It’s Dino and Lebo’s chance to shine

Afcon qual­i­fier against the Sey­chelles is an op­por­tu­nity for Bafana to show they are not only ‘big­ger on pa­per’

Pretoria News - - Sport - MAZOLA MOLEFE @su­per­journo

BAFANA Bafana’s poor record against the so-called smaller na­tions can be put down to – among sev­eral other rea­sons – the op­po­nent’s de­sire to outdo them, ar­gued striker Dino Ndlovu yes­ter­day.

“Peo­ple al­ways say we are the un­der­dogs against Nige­ria and it’s a shock when we beat them. I can maybe turn that con­ver­sa­tion around to say maybe the likes of Libya and Sey­chelles aim to do bet­ter against us,” he ex­plained.

“We are big­ger on pa­per.” Lebo Moth­iba and Ndlovu are ex­pected to turn around this shame­ful his­tory Bafana have against teams ranked lower than them on the con­ti­nent.

The two Bafana Bafana strik­ers are seen to be car­ry­ing the na­tional team’s scor­ing hopes ahead of to­mor­row’s 2019 Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier at FNB Sta­dium af­ter they missed out on last month’s lethar­gic dis­play against Libya in Dur­ban.

Moth­iba, based in France with Ligue 1 out­fit RC Stras­bourg, was a late with­drawal due to in­jury, while Ndlovu, cur­rently scor­ing with ease in the Chi­nese League for Hangzhou Green­town, wasn’t con­sid­ered by coach Stu­art Bax­ter.

Bafana were just not at the races in that for­get­table goal­less draw against Libya – but whether that’s re­lated to not be­ing able to look to the ser­vices of these two for­wards can only be judged at 3pm when they host lowly Sey­chelles to­mor­row and again three days later in the re­turn leg in Vic­to­ria.

“My job is to score goals,” said Moth­iba, who re­ally is chomp­ing at the bit to fi­nally add to his two na­tional team caps.

“When you are a striker and you score goals, you get con­fi­dence and the hunger to want to do it more. I am here to do my best and help the na­tional team. Whether we have two strik­ers up­front or it’s just me, which I am used to, that is some­thing I am com­fort­able with. I am used to also hold­ing up the ball and link­ing up play.”

South Africans have seen Ndlovu in ac­tion be­fore in the do­mes­tic league while play­ing for Su­per­Sport United and the now de­funct Black Aces. But in truth he was never con­vinc­ing un­til his move to Europe.

It’s Moth­iba who is a bit of a closed book, which prob­a­bly makes him dan­ger­ous to op­po­si­tion teams as well given the fact that he is such a hit in France.

“With all due re­spect to my pre­vi­ous coaches here in SA, and they were all good coaches, I don’t think I ever got a real chance to show what I can do,” said Ndlovu when re­minded that he has a ter­ri­ble record on home soil.

He has also not been a reg­u­lar in the na­tional team be­cause of the on­go­ing de­bate that, al­though he plays abroad, his pre­vi­ous and cur­rent clubs aren’t nec­es­sar­ily among the best leagues around the world.

“I will be self­ish if I put my needs ahead of the team’s. I want to get a chance, but what is im­por­tant is for the team to win. We want the three points be­cause we are the big­ger team on pa­per, but we know Sey­chelles will up their game,” he said.

STRIKER Dino Ndlovu dur­ing Bafana train­ing. |

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