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Stuart Baxter explains Bafana selections for World Cup qualifiers with Cape Verde

Posted: 21 August 2017 Time: 13:31

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he opted for continuity when selecting a 25-man squad for back-to-back World Cup qualifiers with Cape Verde next month.

Baxter kept the bulk of the squad that defeated the Super Eagles 2-0 in Uyo, Nigeria earlier this year in the opening match of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.

He has made four changes: defender Morgan Gould returns to the national team after a long absence in place of Lorenzo Gordinho, midfielders Thulani Serero and Daylon Claasen come in for the injured Aubrey Ngoma and Sibusiso Vilakazi, while Bradley Grobler replaces fellow striker Thamsanqa Gabuza.

Baxter said: “It was important that we retain the bulk of the squad for the sake of continuity. We would have wanted to see some more players, but on the other hand it is crucial that we don’t tamper much with a winning side – if it ain’t broken, why fix it?

“I am confident that we will do well with this side because if you think about it, this will be a continuation of the work we did in the last camp against Nigeria – too many changes will mean all the work we did in the previous match would have been thrown away.”

South Africa takes on Cape Verde on Friday, 1 September at the Estadio Nacional Stadium in Cape Verde. Kick-off is at 17h30 local time (20h30 SA time).

The return leg will be played on Tuesday, 5 September at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Kick-off is at 19h00.

South Africa played to a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Oaugadougou in October 2016 and followed it up with a 2-1 win over Senegal in Polokwane in November 2016.

Bafana have won two and drawn one in previous meetings with Cape Verde.

Baxter’s men will assemble on Sunday in Johannesburg. They will have only one training session the next day before flying out to Cape Verde on Tuesday, 29 August.

They return to South Africa on Saturday, 2 September and head directly to Durban for their second match.

SAFA president Danny Jordaan said he was excited with the squad Baxter had called up and believes South Africa have a good chance of qualifying for both the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“With the COSAFA and CHAN tournaments now out of the way, I am happy that coach Baxter will now concentrate on these important assignments; the FIFA World Cup and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments,” said Jordaan.

After the upcoming clashes, Bafana’s next World Cup qualifier is against Burkina Faso on Saturday, 7 October in South Africa, with Senegal the last hurdle on the road to Russia. That match will take place in November.

Cape Verde vs South Africa:

Friday, 1 September 2017

Estadio Nacional Stadium

Praia, Cape Verde

17h30 local time (20h30 SA time)

South Africa vs Cape Verde:

Tuesday, 5 September

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Durban.

19h00.

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD VS CAPE VERDE ISLANDS

P               W             D               L                GF            GA

3               2               1               0               4               2

5 June, 2004

v Cape Verde Islands 2-1 (Mbulelo Mabizela 42’, 70’; Janicio 78’)

World Cup group two qualifier

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Coach: Stuart Baxter

 

4 June, 2005

v Cape Verde Islands 2-1 (Benedict McCarthy 11, Delron Buckley 13’; Cafu 78’)

World Cup group two qualifier

Estadio Varzea, Praia

Coach: Stuart Baxter

 

19 January, 2013

v Cape Verde Islands 0-0

African Nations Cup fGroup A

Soccer City, Soweto

Coach: Gordon Igesund

 

BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD TO FACE CAPE VERDE

 GOALKEEPERS:
1. Itumeleng KHUNE Kaizer Chief FC (SA)
2. Darren KEET Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
3. Ronwen WILLIAMS Supersport United FC (SA)
     
 DEFENDERS:  
4. Ramahlwe MPHAHLELE Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
5. Rivaldo COETZEE Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)
6. Thulani HLATSHWAYO (C) Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
7. Erick MATHOHO Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)
8. Morgan GOULD Supersport United (SA)
9. Abbubaker MOBARA Orlando Pirates FC (SA)
10. Tebogo LANGERMAN Mamelodi Sundowns FC
11. Sifiso HLANTI Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
     
 MIDFIELDERS:
12. Hlompho KEKANA Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
13. Keagan DOLLY Montpellier (France)
14. Andle JALI KV Oostende FC (SA)
15. Kamohelo MOKOTJO Brentford FC (Netherlands)
16. Dean FURMAN Supersport United FC (SA)
17. Themba ZWANE Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
18. Bongani ZUNGU Vitoria Guimares (Portugal)
19. Thulani SERERO SBV Vitesse (Holland)
     
STRIKERS
20. Daylon CLAASEN Bidvest Wits FC (SA)
21. Percy TAU Mamelodi Sundowns FC (SA)
22. Lebohang MANYAMA Cape Town City FC (SA)
23. Tokelo RANTIE Genclerbirligi FC (Turkey)
24. Bradley GROBLER Supersport United FC (SA)
25. Kermit ERASMUS Rennes (France)
 
Article by: Staff Reporter
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