JOHANNESBURG – Stuart Baxter on Wednesday named a 24-man Bafana Bafana squad that included first time call-ups for Reeve Frosler, Thamsanqa Mkhize and French-based striker Lebogang Mothiba for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso on October 7 at the FNB Stadium.
The most notable omissions are that of Dean Furman, who is serving a one-match suspension – having accumulated two yellow cards – the injured Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daylon Claasen and Tokelo Rantie.
“I liked the look of Mkhize for a while, and even more so when I watched him last night (playing for his club Cape Town City in the 1-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates).
“I thought I would bring Reeve in to learn and get some experience. And Lebo has been doing well in France (for Valenciennes in the French second division). I spoke to his coach, and everyone is really happy with his contribution,” said Baxter.
The British mentor was facing the media for the first time since Bafana failed to beat Cape Verde in back-to-back qualifiers earlier this month, a shock 2-0 defeat away in Praia, which was followed by a 2-1 loss in Durban a couple of days later.
Those results had left Bafana with just four points from four games in Group D of the qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia, and another big blow came when world governing body Fifa ordered a replay of their 2-1 home victory over Senegal in November last year because of match manipulation.
Referee Joseph Lamptey was handed a lifetime ban for influencing the result in South Africa’s favour and Baxter’s bosses at Safa have accepted Fifa’s decision, the match now scheduled to be played during the international break in November and meaning Bafana, who now have a single point from three matches, will play Senegal twice that month.
Bafana Bafana Squad
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Ronwen Williams.
Defenders: Morgan Gould, Erick Mathoho, Reeve Frosler, Thami Mkhize, Sifiso Hlanti, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Tebogo Langerman, Clayton Daniels.
Midfielders: Andile Jali, Hlompho Kekana, Bongani Zungu, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero.
Strikers: Phakamani Mahlambi, Lebo Mothiba, Lebogang Manyama, Bradley Grobler, Dino Ndlovu, Percy Tau.