Racing Strasbourg of France rising star, Lebo Mothiba is the biggest attraction South Africa’s list of invitees to battle Nigeria on November 17 in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
In a squad largely populated by home-based players, footballlive.ng can report that Mothiba is one of four Bafana Bafana invitees that are plying their trade with overseas outfits.
Also called up by Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter from clubsides outside Africa are Thulani Serero from SBV Vitesse in Belgium, Dino Ndlovu of Zhejiang Greentown in China and Percy Tau from Royal Union Saint also in Belgium.
Heading into next weekend’s game at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, Bafana Bafana have been ravaged by injuries, as Kamohelo Mokotjo and Sibusiso Vilakazi are sidelined by torn Achilles tendons‚ Dean Furman has a dislocated shoulder and Keagan Dolly is undergoing rehabilitation on his fractured leg.
Bongani Zungu will also miss the clash because of torn cruciate ligaments in his knee while Bradley Grobler has undergone a knee operation.
Baxter named just two other changes from the squad that played two qualifiers against the Seychelles twice last month in their bid to qualify for next year’s finals in Cameroon.
Also earning recalls are Maritzburg United midfielder Fortune Makaringe and Mamelodi Sundowns winger Themba Zwane return while striker Bradley Grobler is also out injured and Thabo Nodada dropped.
The full list of invitees for South Africa, who are second behind Group E leaders Nigeria, who have nine points from four matches, has:
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khume (Chiefs)‚ 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)
Midfielders: 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).
Incidentally, Baxter has handed a second chance to feature against Nigeria to Serero, who last year asked to be left out of the national team unless he was guaranteed playing time.
“I am working from the assumption that everybody can make a poor decision and I thought his decision was poor when he said he wouldn’t continue to come to the national team.
“But‚ I do think that everybody had a right to second chances in life and this is his second chance,” Baxter philosophized.