Lebo Mothiba (left) and Thamsanqa Mkhize in action during the Bafana Bafana training session at FNB Stadium. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Could Lebo Mothiba be the answer to our prayers? 

He is after all a typical No.9 with an eye for goals and rattling the net in one of Europe’s top leagues.

Stuart Baxter says this notion puts pressure on Mothiba’s “young shoulders”, but argued that at the same time the striker deserves all the praise.

“This is really his first major event,” he said of a forward that has scored five goals in 9 matches for new club RC Strasbourg in France’s Ligue 1.

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“We want him to be natural. He is not, and I say this with all due respect to everybody else, very typically South African. He is a target player, holds people off and he is an unpleasant boy to play against. And he has a nose for goals. 

We want him to be natural and we want him to understand how we play, but we must also understand how he plays.”

Lebo Mothiba in action during the Bafana Bafana training session at FNB Stadium. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
Lebo Mothiba in action during the Bafana Bafana training session at FNB Stadium. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Mothiba, especially with the absence of Bradley Grobler, is expected to lead the line in attack for Bafana when they host Seychelles in an Afcon qualifier tomorrow afternoon at FNB Stadium and face them again in Victoria in the return leg three days later.

“I think he will get better and better. I don’t think we should put unnecessary pressure on him, but I think he is a strong boy and has shown this week that his standards have been quite level – he hasn’t had one great one and one disaster,” said Baxter.

Mothiba scored the only goal in Bafana’s practice match against SuperSport United on Wednesday afternoon.


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