Miss or not, Rantie is our man

2015-01-25 15:00

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South Africans will have to get used to seeing Tokelo Rantie picking up the ball the next time Bafana Bafana are awarded a penalty.

This is because Rantie is one of the four Bafana players identified to take spot kicks for the team.

The other three are Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa and Bernard Parker.

Rantie has a love-hate relationship with South Africans because he seems to lack the killer instinct in front of goal.

He has come under severe criticism for his missed penalty against Algeria and is being blamed for Bafana’s loss against the north African side on Monday.

Bafana were leading 1-0 when the referee awarded them a penalty against Algeria. A conversion would have given them an unassailable 2-0 lead and made it difficult for the north Africans to bounce back.

But Rantie hit the crossbar. This was the turning point in the game because Algeria bounced back to win 3-1.

Critics have asked why Rantie took the penalty ahead of Jali or Manyisa who are better penalty takers.

Rantie has since been called all sorts of names on different social-media platforms. However, the striker says he will try his best if he gets another opportunity.

He has been Bafana’s best striker recently and scored four goals in the Afcon qualifiers.

Bafana assistant coach Thabo Senong said Rantie was one of the players assigned to take penalties.

“We have appointed players to take penalties, corner kicks and free kicks.

“We all believe in Tokelo and know he is still going to score lots of goals for us. He is one of our best penalty takers and there is no need to remove him from the list. These things happen in football,” said Senong.

Other players who can score from the penalty spot are Thulani Hlatshwayo and Sibusiso Vilakazi.

Rantie is not the first one to miss a crucial spot kick. Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty which would have given the Blacks Stars a passage to the semifinals of the 2010 World Cup. Italy’s Roberto Baggio missed a decisive penalty against Brazil in the 1994 World Cup final in the US.

David Beckham was also labelled a villain when he missed a spot kick against France at Euro 2004 in Lisbon.

Reigning world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo missed his spot kick in the Uefa Champions League final against Chelsea in 2008.

Chelsea captain John Terry also missed a penalty kick in the same final.

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