fast little loans
There has been much debate about Gordon Igesund’s decision to drop captain Bongani Khumalo from the Bafana Bafana squad.
The SA national football squad takes on the Central African Republic (CAR) in a 2014 World Cup qualifying fixture at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 8.15pm).
Igesund explained his decision as follows: “Bongani (Khumalo) has not been playing regularly for his Greek club PAOK. He only played his first game last week. He’s carrying a slight injury.
“I’ve chosen not to pick him because he has not been playing for his club.”
That, of course, would be Igesund’s official line.
But, between the lines, the truth is that Khumalo has not been at his best for Bafana. During the recent Africa Cup of Nations, the central defender was regularly caught out at the back, not only in aerial duels but for pace as well. And, then, probably one of the main reasons why Khumalo is now considered surplus to requirements is the fact that Morgan Gould is back from injury.
There is no doubt the Kaizer Chiefs defender would have been picked ahead of Khumalo at the Nations Cup, but was out with a damaged Achilles tendon.
Now that Gould is fit and available, Igesund is keen on selecting his two first-choice central defenders – Gould and Orlando Pirates’ Siyabonga Sangweni – for the crunch tie against CAR.
Bafana aren’t in a healthy position in their qualifying group. Ethiopia are the leaders on four points, followed by CAR on three, South Africa on two and Botswana one.
As such, Igesund, who wasn’t in charge for the two previous qualifying games, has always maintained that Saturday’s fixture in the Mother City is of paramount importance, if Bafana are to keep alive their hopes of going to Brazil next year.
“We know how important the game against CAR is,” said Igesund. “They are second in our group, but we have a team that can match them. They’re a tactical team with a physical approach, but if we play like we played against Angola and Morocco at the Nations Cup, we can win.
“I have selected a team that can do the job. I am confident. We want to qualify for the World Cup in 2014, and this is the fixture that is vital in getting us on our way.”
The inclusion of Gould, therefore, is critical in strengthening Bafana’s defence.
Now 29 years old, Gould started his career at Jomo Cosmos, where he carved a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense tackler in seven years at the Jomo Sono-coached club. He then spent four years with SuperSport United, where he was the rock on which the Pretoria side’s three PSL titles were built. He joined Chiefs at the beginning of the season, but was injured before he could continue his club and Bafana progress.
The defender is back now, and Igesund has immediately drafted him into the Bafana squad, which is an indication of how highly he is rated.
In further Bafana news, Gould’s Chiefs teammate, left-back Tsepo Masilela, has been ruled out with a calf injury. He will be replaced by Tebogo Langerman of Mamelodi Sundowns.
BAFANA: Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Senzo Meyiwa (Orlando Pirates) Defenders: Siyanda Xulu (FC Rostov, Russia), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk, Belgium), Thabo Matlaba (Pirates), Tebogo Langerman (Sundowns), Morgan Gould (Chiefs), Siyabonga Sangweni (Pirates), Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic). Midfielders: Thuso Phala (Platinum Stars), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers, England), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England), Daylon Claasen (Lierse, Belgium), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Chiefs), May Mahlangu (Helsingborgs, Sweden), Oupa Manyisa (Pirates), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Daine Klate (Pirates). Forwards: Bernard Parker (Chiefs), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo, Sweden)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Goalkeepers: Geoffrey Lembet (Sedan, France), Prince Samolah (Scaf), Evrard Gondjé (DFC8). Defenders: Thérence Kethevoama, Kelly Youga (AFC Wimbledon, Eng), Salif Keita (DH El Jadida, Mor), Manassé Enza-Yamissi (Petrolul Ploiesti, Rumania), Amos Youga (Lyon, France), Nicaise Zimbori (Coton Sport Garoua, Cameroon), Fernander Kassai (Le Mans, France), Franklin Anzité (Samut Songkhram, Thailand). Midfielders: Eloge Enza-Yamissi (Troyes, France), Romaric Lignanzi (FC Sapins, Gabon), Vianney Mabidé (Raja Casablanca, Mor), Foxi Kethevoama (Astana FC, Kazakhstan), David Manga (Hapoël Ramat Gan, Israel), Amores Dertin (Gabon), Gervais Kago (US Bitam, Gabon), Eudes Dagoulou (MC Oran, Algeria). Forwards: Hilaire Momi (Le-mans, France), Josué Balamandji (Paris FC, France), Habib Habibou (Leeds United, Eng), Evans Kondogbia (RFC Liège, Bel) - Cape Argus