Mokotjo, Erasmus start for Bafana


DURBAN – Kamohelo Mokotjo will start for Bafana Bafana when they take on Guinea-Bissau at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

Stand-in Bafana head coach Owen da Gama announced his starting line-up on Saturday morning, and it features Netherlands-based Mokotjo, who was cleared to play for South Africa only on Friday afternoon.

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Kermit Erasmus is back in favour at Bafana Bafana. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePixLebogang Manyama has to be content with a place on the bench for Bafana. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

This will be Mokotjo’s first start in a Bafana Bafana jersey since 13 November 2015, when he played against Honduras in San Pedro Sula – while it will be his first appearance since November 2015, when he came on for Bongani Zungu against Angola in Durban.

Midfielder Mokotjo almost didn’t qualify to play in this match after he obtained a Dutch citizenship, thereby losing his South Africa citizenship.

But with help of the Department of Home Affairs, he was able to resume his South African citizenship after he made an application.

Da Gama has made several changes to the squad that played against Senegal in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier played in Polokwane last year in November.

Only five players who featured in that match will get a start against Guinea-Bissau – Itumeleng Khune, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Erick Mathoho, Keagan Dolly and Thulani Serero.

Khune retains his jersey in goal to earn his 82nd cap, and he will also captain the side.

Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Tebogo Langerman will occupy the fullback positions, while Hlatshwayo and Mathoho will be the central defence pairing.

Mokotjo and Dean Furman will operate in the heart of the midfield. Dolly, Themba Zwane and Serero also get the nod in midfield, and Kermit Erasmus will be the goal-poacher.

Zwane last played in the friendly against Cameroon in 2015 ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Libreville.

Lebogang Manyama has to be content with a place on the bench for Bafana. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

Erasmus last featured for Bafana Bafana in Uyo, Nigeria in the 2-2 draw against the host nation in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Cape Town City captain Lebogang Manyama is a bit unlucky to be on the bench after an outstanding season, and he is joined by Mamelodi Sundowns stars Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda and Percy Tau, as well as Amajita striker Luther Singh.

With only 12 players allowed on the bench, goalkeeper Shuaib Walters and Phakamani Mahlambi will play no part in the match.

Bafana Bafana XI

Itumeleng Khune (captain), Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Tebogo Langerman, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Erick Mathoho, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Dean Furman, Keagan Dolly, Themba Zwane, Thulani Serero, Kermit Erasmus.

Substitutes: Darren Keet (GK), Rivaldo Coetzee, Lorenzo Gordinho, Diamond Thopola, Hlompho Kekana, Thabo Mnyamane, Andile Jali, Tiyani Mabunda, Lebogang Manyama, Percy Tau, Lars Veldwijk, Luther Singh.

Stands: Shuaib Walters (GK), Phakamani Mahlambi.

SAFA Media, Staff Writer

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