PRAIA, Cape Verde – Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has opted for Ronwen Williams in goal for Friday night’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde at the Estadio Nacional (8.30pm kickoff SA time).
Williams starts ahead of Wayne Sandilands and Reyaad Pieterse, two goalkeepers who were replacements for Itumeleng Khune (chest infection) and Darren Keet (knee injury).
Baxter’s decision was influenced by goalkeeper coach André Arendse, who worked close with all three goalkeepers in the three training sessions ahead of tonight’s clash.
The coach had confirmed that he would make the call on who is best suited for the game against Group D whipping boys Cape Verde, who haven’t won their two opening games so far.
With the exception of Williams between the sticks and Lebogang Manyama in attack, Baxter has named the same line-up that made history in Nigeria two months ago, where Bafana beat the Super Eagles for the first time in a qualifying game in Uyo.
Dean Furman and Bongani Zungu start in a central midfield partnership that stifled Nigeria in the opening match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, with Keagan Dolly and Themba Zwane on the flanks.
Tokelo Rantie, who scored one of the two goals against the Super Eagles, leads the line yet again for Bafana here in Cape Verde.
Manyama will play behind him, and slots in for Sibusiso Vilakazi, who was omitted for the squad facing the islanders in back-to-back qualifiers this month.
Bafana Bafana Team
Ronwen Williams, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Tebogo Langerman, Thulani Hlatshwayo (captain), Mulomowandau Mathoho, Dean Furman, Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, Themba Zwane, Lebogang Manyama, Tokelo Rantie.