Brilliant Khuzwayo and Siyabonga Mpontshane called up to Bafana

By Drum Digital
04 November 2014

Brilliant Khuzwayo and Siyabonga Mpontshane were called up as possible replacements for the late Bafana Bafana skipper Senzo Meyiwa on Tuesday, when Shakes Mashaba announced South Africa's squad for their remaining two 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"The replacement of Senzo is a two-pronged issue -- one as a goalkeeper and two as a captain, and both will have to be decided before we play our first match," coach Mashaba said. "We will have a good look at the players that will be in camp and we will make a decision at the right time. It will not be an easy thing to replace Senzo in both positions, but we will do our best to find a suitable replacement and life has to go on.

"We are also confident that whoever takes over one or two of those roles will be able to deliver."

South Africa play against Sudan in Durban on November 15 before travelling to Nigeria for their last group match on November 19 at the newly-built Ibo International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Originally scheduled to take place in Nelspruit, the fixture against Sudan was moved to Moses Mabhida Stadium in honour of Meyiwa, who was born in Umlazi, south of Durban.

Meyiwa was shot dead last Sunday in Vosloorus while visiting his singer and actress girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. Two people allegedly entered the house and demanded cellphones before fleeing.

"We went through a very hectic period following the passing on of Senzo," Mashaba said.

"This will be the first time we meet since this tragedy befell us but we just have to accept and move forward. I don't think it is going to be a gloomy period in camp, we can only hope this is over and start marching on.

"We will play for him as he did a sterling job towards this team's qualification, so we need carry the baton and ensure we qualify for Morocco 2015."

The Bafana Bafana mentor said his charges were aware of the importance of the two Afcon matches.

"We need people who are going to compete as we know that the last two games are very crucial.

"After playing Sudan we face Nigeria -- and here it's not just about the three points, it is also about pride as Nigeria would not want to lose to us but I believe it is our time to defeat them."

Khuzwayo and Mpontshane were among six new faces for the game in Durban against Sudan.

Brilliant Khuzway o

The new additions included May Mahlangu, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Luvolwethu Mpeta and Lehlohonolo Majoro.

Bafana were currently top of group A's standings and remained in pole position to qualify for next year's continental showpiece.

A win against Sudan would guarantee Bafana's place at the Cup of Nations.

South Africa squad: Goalkeepers: Darren Keet, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Brilliant Khuzwayo.

Defenders: Erick Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Anele Ngcongca, Siyabonga Nhlapo, Luvolwethu Mpeta, Sibusiso Khumalo, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Kwanda Mngonyama, Tefu Mashamaite.

Midfielders: Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Themba Zwane, Oupa Manyisa, May Mahlangu, Thulani Serero, Mandla Masango, Fagrie Lakay, Reneilwe Letsholonyane.

Strikers: Tokelo Rantie, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Bongani Ndulula, Kermit Erasmus, Lehlohonolo Majoro.

-SAPA

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