Bafana Bafana

Hlatshwayo urges new Bafana players to 'step up'

Thulani Hlatshwayo (Gallo Images)
Thulani Hlatshwayo (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has called on the new faces in the team to respond to their injury woes with positive displays against Libya on Saturday.

MUST READ: Bafana players are Africa's best - Libya coach

The senior national outfit will host the North African country at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier, but their preparations have been hampered by injuries to key players.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielders Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane, along with the French-based duo of Bongani Zungu and Lebogang Mothiba, have all withdrawn from the squad.

However, the Bafana Bafana skipper believes all is not lost and is confident the likes of Vincent Pule, Aubrey Modiba, Tiyani Mabunda and Mxolisi Macuphu can step up to the challenge in the quest to qualify for next year's tournament to be staged in Cameroon.

Hlatshwayo, who is also the captain of Bidvest Wits, wants Stuart Baxter's side to build from their 2-0 win over Nigeria in their Group E opener.

"We know that we have lost four players, the guys that played the game against Nigeria, the regulars in the Bafana camp and I think this is an opportunity for the new players to step up," Hlatshwayo told journalists.

"I'm hoping for the new guys to step up, especially Pule if they can get an opportunity to display their talent.

"With the defence, the coach touched it yesterday during the meeting. So, he is already planning on it and we are also going to work hard do well towards Libya.

"This game on Saturday is very important to make sure that we get a result because this might be the last chance for some of the guys to represent their country in the Africa Cup of Nations and that's how important the game is for us."

Kick-off is at 15:00.

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