Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Phakaaathi Reporter
2 minute read
26 Oct 2017
12:01 pm

Shabba in Bafana squad to face Senegal

Phakaaathi Reporter

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has included Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala in his 26-man squad to face Senegal in back-to-back 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers next month.

Stuart Baxter, coach of South Africa (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Baxter has also called up midfielders Bongani Zungu and Andile Jali, who are both suspended.

Jali will serve one match after collecting two yellow cards in the qualifiers, and will be available for the away leg, while Zungu has been included pending a Fifa disciplinary case, which will sit on the 1st of November, to look into the red card he received in the clash against Burkina Faso.

READ: Tokelo Rantie snubs Bafana Bafana

Baxter has kept the bulk of the squad that defeated Burkina Faso 3-1 earlier this month (7 October 2017) in a Fifa World Cup qualifier at FNB Stadium.

He welcomes back the defensive partnership of captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, who was out injured in that match as well as Erick Mathoho and Dean Furman, who were both suspended.

“In an ideal world I would love to have all the players available for every match, but we know it is not possible. In Zungu’s case, we will await the outcome of sitting, but we have a job to do, and if you thought playing Burkina Faso was a world cup final, I can tell you now that playing Senegal is much more important than that,” said Baxter.

“We have only one option – to win the remaining two games and book our ticket to Russia. Everyone, myself, the players, the association, media and the public – is well aware that anything less than victory in both matches will be curtains for our world cup aspirations. We did well against Burkina Faso, so we have to keep on believing that is it is very much possible to qualify. The good thing is that it is all in our hands.”

The first match takes place on Friday, November 10, at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Bafana Bafana will then travel to Dakar to take on the Lions of Teranga on Tuesday, November 14, at Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor.

READ: Supporters deserved better – Shabba

Bafana Bafana are bottom of the Group D table with four points – four adrift of log leaders Senegal. Both sides have two matches remaining.

Burkina Faso and the Cape Verde Islands are tied on six points – both are left with one game.

Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Ronwen Williams

Defenders: Thamsanqa Mkhize, Clayton Daniels, Morgan Gould, Eric Mathoho, Motjeka Madisha, Tebogo Langerman, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sifiso Hlanti

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, Dean Furman, Keagan Dolly, Andile Jali, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu, Thulani Serero, Phakamani Mahlambi, Lebogang Manyama, Siphiwe Tshabalala

Strikers: Percy Tau, Bradley Grobler, Dino Ndlovu

Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)