fast little loans
Bafana Bafana will have to make do without Tsepo Masilela in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic at Cape Town Stadium.
Masilela was yesterday withdrawn from the squad because of injury. The 27-year-old left back also missed Kaizer Chiefs’ 2-0 Nedbank Cup victory over Polokwane City on Saturday as a recurring knee injury has put him out of action for the umpteenth time this season.
Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has named Mamelodi Sundowns defender Tebogo Langerman as Masilela’s replacement ahead of Saturday’s crucial qualifier.
However, exciting Orlando Pirates fullback Thabo Matlaba now has the inside lane to start on the left side of defence. Matlaba is a naturally attacking player, and could provide Igesund with much-needed width down the left flank for the encounter against the Central African Republic.
Siphiwe Tshabalala, who was dropped for the last couple of matches of South Africa’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign on home soil, was used on the left over the last couple of years, but he doesn’t get in behind the opposition defence and to the byline to feed his strikers with crosses.
Matlaba will definitely add some variety to the South African attack, which has become a little bit predictable over the last few years. The inclusion of Daine Klate in the squad is also an indication that Igesund is trying to find a natural left-footed midfielder to pepper the opposition with balls into the box.
Platinum Stars star Thuso Phala was immense down the right during Afcon, and gave Bafana a new dimension to complement their short-passing game down the middle.
And Igesund will desperately want to build on their performance at Afcon, where Bafana were knocked out of the competition in the quarter-finals on penalties by Mali.
After freshening up the starting line-up with the likes of May Mahlangu and Dean Furman following a lacklustre performance in the opening match against Cape Verde, Bafana played some really good football.
There seemed to be a bit more cohesion in midfield, while Furman definitely helped Bafana’s transition from defence to attack. He also ran his socks off to break up opposition attacks, leaving the likes of Mahlangu and Phala with space to cause havoc in the final third of the pitch.
Central African Republic are second behind Ethiopia in Group A of the African 2014 World Cup qualifying group.
Bafana are third on two points following two draws, and are one point behind Saturday’s opponents and two points behind surprise leaders Ethiopia. Botswana, on one point, are at the bottom of the group. - Cape Times