Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter on Monday announced his squad for the crack 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
The South African team has been rocked by key injuries to some key players but star players like Percy Tau and Thulani Serero were still able to make the cut.
Kamohelo Mokotjo, Dean Furman, Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Bradley Grobler are all injured and have been ruled out of the November 17 game..
On the availability of Serero, Baxter told the South African sporting media:
“He is and he has always been an important player for us," said Baxter to the media at Safa House on Monday.
"He is a quite boy in the dressing room and I am working on the assumption that everybody can make a mistake. This is his second chance and he has the quality that we need in our attacking game,” he said about Serero’s return.
“It has really been a tough task to select the team to face Nigeria without some of our regular players, but we have to soldier on.
Baxter however says the setbacks has opened windows of opportunities for new players.
"These injuries could not have come at the worst of times when we really need to collect all three points because we are well aware the importance of doing this,” said Baxter.
“The positive side, however, is that this gives us a chance to introduce other players into the squad, and these are players we have been monitoring, so it not like a knee-jerk reaction.
"This helps us to ensure that when we qualify for the tournament we have an even bigger pool of players to choose from. I am also confident that the players brought in will do a good job.”
Bafana Bafana Squad:
Goalkeepers: (Itumeleng Khume (Chiefs0, Ronwen Williams (Supersport), Darren Keet (Wits)
Defenders: Ramahle Mphahlele (Chiefs), Motjeka Madisha (Sundowns), Siyanda Xulu (Maritzburg), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Innocent Maela (Pirates), S’Fiso Hlanti (Wits), Buhle MKhwanazi (Bidvest Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City)
Mifielders: Vincent Pule (Pirates), Lebogang Maboe (Sundowns), Hlompho Kekana (Sundowns), Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg), Teboho Mokoena (Supersport), Samuel Mabunda (Sundowns), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Thulani Serero (SBV Vitesse),
Strikers: Themba Zwane (Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba (Racing Club De Strasbourg FC), Dino Ndlovu (Zhejiang Greentown FC, China), Percy Tau (Royal Union Saint FC, Belgium)
By Izuchukwu Okosi