SA junior strikers on target for goals

2011-11-26 20:36

Contrary to Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane’s outcry that there are no potent strikers in the country, he needs to look no further than the junior national teams ... and Banyana Banyana.

It’s ironic that Orlando Pirates are firing blanks but their strikers Bongani Ndulula (Under-23) and Nhlakanipho Ntuli (Under-17) average a goal or more per game for the national teams.

While Bafana’s key striker Katlego Mphela boasts an 80% scoring rate this year, Ntuli is the source of goals for coach Solly Luvhengo in the Amajimbos team.

The junior Buccaneer is among the national team strikers that have netted a ­hat trick this year.

Others are Ndulula and Banyana’s Noko Matlou.

Ndulula netted all four goals in the Baby Bafana’s 4-2 win over Malawi during the All Africa Games qualifiers in April.

“Drogba”, as Ndulula is known, has also equalled Siyabonga Nomvethe’s ­long-standing record of 15 goals for the Under-23 team.

He has enjoyed a regular partnership with Phumelele Bhengu in coach Shakes Mashaba’s side.

Similarly, there was a regular strike force of Ntuli and Siyanda Ngcobo in the Under-17s. The pair netted 13 goals between them in five Amajimbos games.

And if exhibition games were to be considered, Ntuli has scored over 20 times this year.

If there was no coaching crisis in the Under-20s, Lucky Nguzana proved the real deal in front of goal for Amajita.

Under caretaker coach Maqsood Chenia, Nguzana finished as the joint top-scorer, netting thrice during the Caf African Youth Championships played here in April.

Amajita are now guided by Luvhengo ahead of the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Champions in Botswana next month.

» Meanwhile, Banyana Banyana sharp-shooter Matlou was also consistent and it was inevitable that she almost single-handedly steered Banyana to their maiden Olympics qualification.

She scored six goals in as many qualifiers, including a hat?trick against Ethiopia in August that sealed South Africa’s place at the London Games next year.

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