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Gordon Igesund believes Dino Ndlovu will produce goals for Bafana Bafana, having given the Israel-based striker another opportunity to show what he can do in the World Cup 2014 qualifier against the Central African Republic on March 23.
Ndlovu was part of Igesund’s first Bafana Bafana squad, but was injured early in the clash with Brazil in Sao Paulo. He then failed to impress as a substitute in October friendlies against Poland and Kenya, but Igesund clearly feels he has plenty to offer.
“It is important to understand that Dino Ndlovu is the highest scoring striker at his club,” said the Bafana coach.
“He scored in his last game. I have watched tapes of his recent games and he has been performing well.
“Dino was unlucky to get injured in Brazil and consequently we were not able to see what he is capable of doing. I think he can do very well and score goals for us.”
Ndlovu came off the bench on Wednesday to score Haifa’s third goal in a 3-0 win over Beitar Jerusalem in Israel’s State Cup quarter-finals. He now has eight goals in total for Haifa this season.
The 22 year old is also a rare breed of South African international these days in that he has played for his country at under-20 and under-23 level.
Igesund believes that Bafana badly need more players to come through their youth structures if they are to succeed.
“At the Afcon we had only five players that came from the under-17s, under-20s or under-23s,” said Igesund.
“We need under-17, under-20 and under-23 sides that play in the same way (as Bafana), an identity, so if a player comes through he knows exactly what is expected.”
First, however, Igesund needs to lead the current squad to a victory over the CAR in Cape Town, with a home win badly needed to revive Bafana’s hope’s of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Currently Bafana sit third in their qualifying group with two points, behind the CAR (3) and Ethiopia (4).
CAR have never made it to an African Nations Cup or World Cup, but are on the up in Africa, and famously took down Egypt in 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, only to lose to eventual finalists Burkina Faso in a play-off to compete in South Africa.
The “Wild Beasts” won 1-0 in Bangui, but lost 3-1 in Ouagadougou.
“I think the CAR are a dangerous team,” said Igesund.
“They are second in the group and still have to play us home and away. It is important we win both games, or at least win the home game, and get something away.
“They are a physical, uncompromising side, big, strong and quick. But I am confident if we can play football like we did against Mali and Morocco (at the Nations Cup) we can win.”
A victory at the Cape Town Stadium is certainly more likely than in Bangui, where the CAR have not lost in their past six competitive (qualifying) matches.
“The team manager (Barney Kujane) has made a round trip to Ethiopia and the CAR, and tells me the conditions are terrible,” said Igesund.
“The playing fields are very small ... not conducive to good football. We must make sure we beat them at home, and then see what we have got.” - Saturday Star