WATCH: 5 key players who can light up FNB Stadium for Bafana Bafana against Ethiopia
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Cape Town - Bafana Bafana will be looking for back-to-back 2022 Fifa World Cup Qualifying wins when they take on Ethiopia at FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.
Herman Gibbs looks at five key players who can help Bafana maintain their unbeaten record in the World Cup qualifiers.
Bafana Bafana’s captain Ronwen Williams led from the front at the Bahir Dar Stadium in Ethiopia on Saturday. He was outstanding between the sticks. On three occasions, he single-handedly denied Ethiopia with gallant saves. He was particularly effective in the first half. He was well-beaten by Getaneh Kebede's thunderous free-kick, which produced Ethiopia’s goal.
The Mamelodi Sundowns midfield general excelled in his delegated role as a holding midfielder. He worked like a Trojan trying to contain Ethiopia’s sorties down the middle of the park and he dispossessed the opposition when threatening situations were developing close to South Africa's goalmouth. He showed a penchant for attacking play early in the match by setting off on a few runs out wide. He produced a few goalmouth crosses, which kept the opposition defence busy. He crowned a superb performance with the team’s second goal.
The SuperSport United midfielder shocked Ethiopia with a goal in added time at the end of the first half. His well-struck free-kick, from some 35 metres, flew over the defensive wall, and dipped in at chest height by the time it reached Ethiopian goalkeeper Fasil Gebremichael. The keeper parried the ball downwards, but it bounced at an angle into goal. He is establishing himself as a key player with consistent and solid performances.
The Sundowns hard-running striker turned in a superb performance after emerging from two “nearly” situations before the kickoff. He nearly did not make the travelling squad to Ethiopia due to the after-effects of his vaccination early last week; and he nearly did not make the starting XI because he was named among the subs on matchday. However, Vincent Pule picked up an injury during the warm-up and Kutumela was given his shot, which he took with both hands. He had a high work-rate and dropped back on occasion to help contain Ethiopia’s attacks down the flanks. He offers strikes from deep and came close with one effort.
The Royal AM striker would have been surprised to join the fray from the substitutes’ bench after a baffling 35th-minute substitution. Coach Hugo Broos explained after the game that he brought on Letsoalo because the Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa was not playing to instructions. Letsoalo wasted no time making his presence felt, and looked full of running. He combined well with his teammates and he has the ability to worm his way into the striking zone, which caused the opposition defence to lose their structure.