Moriri recalled, Teko keeps his place for tough trip to Sierra Leone

2010-10-01 00:00

SURPRISE Moriri’s experience is sure to have counted for the Mamelodi Sundowns utility forward as he earned a recall yesterday to the Bafana Bafana squad for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone on October 10.

Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane again opted for the tried and tested for a potentially hair-raising trip to the once war-torn capital, with even the haplessly out-of-form Teko Modise keeping his position, despite not being able to hold down a place at Orlando Pirates at present.

“Teko is a very experienced player. He is a former PSL Player of the Year. We are talking about Teko now and I don’t believe he is a bad player,” Mosimane said in defence of the embattled midfielder.

So concerned are the SA Football Association about the trip to Sierra Leone that they have hired a charter flight to get the team and technical staff there.

This follows an unpleasant experience where the SA U17s had their luggage stolen on a commercial flight to Burkina Faso. The charter flight also negates connections via Kenya and Ghana on commercial flights.

Sierra Leone are ranked 132nd in the world, but showed they are no pushovers by holding Group G favourites Egypt to a 1-1 draw in the teams’ opening qualifier in Cairo.

Bafana started with a 2-0 win over Niger in Nelspruit last month.

“I didn’t make too many changes because I believe if it is not broken you don’t fix it,” Mosimane explained of the cautious nature of his 22-man squad.

“We are going there for the three points. Yes, it is a difficult assignment, but we must adjust to the conditions … We must play and don’t have excuses. We must bring home the results.”

In line with Safa and the coach’s policy of covering their bases for the fixture, Mosimane has chosen a third goalkeeper, Wits University youngster Darren Keet, as back-up to Itumeleng Khune and Moeneeb Josephs.

“It might not sound normal when you bring in three goalkeepers, but my experience has taught me I shouldn’t take risks in a qualifier, especially in Freetown,” Mosimane said.

“I remember we travelled to one of the African countries, and Itumeleng Khune was sick the day before the match and Moeneeb Josephs was struggling with asthma. I don’t want to find myself in that situation again.

“We have taken a goalkeeper who is in my vision of 2014,” the coach added.

Surprisingly, Mosimane has retained Kaizer Chiefs benchwarmer Sthembiso Ngcobo at striker, forsaking on-form Moroka Swallows veteran Siyabonga Nomvethe.

Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Darren Keet (Wits University)

Defenders: Morgan Gould, Bongani Khumalo (both SuperSport United), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse, Belgium), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Innocent Mdledle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Anele Ngconca (Racing Genk, Belgium)

Midfielders: Teko Modise, Andile Jali (both Pirates), Siphiwe Tshabalala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane (both Chiefs), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Thanduyise Khuboni (Arrows)

Strikers: Sthembiso Ngcobo (Chiefs), Katlego Mphela, Surprise Moriri (both Sundowns), Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Holland)

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