Bfafana Bafana’s final 2017 Afcon qualifier on Friday against Mauritania may be a dead rubber, but it is important for the new faces who have been picked for the future.
Here are the five players that could use this match and the friendly against Egypt four days later to make a case for their selection ahead of the start of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in October.
Orlando Pirates’ versatile new defender had soccer fans swooning after keeping Barcelona and Brazil superstar Neymar in his pocket when SA held the hosts to a 0-0 draw in their opening Rio Olympic Games match.
The Mitchells Plain laaitie’s ability to play any defensive role is something coach Shakes Mashaba will appreciate.
His call-up was a surprise given that he’s hardly seen much game time at his club SuperSport United and has been overlooked by junior national team coaches due to a lengthy injury layoff.
It is unlikely Mashaba will look to him in any of the World Cup qualifiers, not because his age (19), but simply due to the fact that he isn’t getting the experience he desperately needs as a fringe player for Stuart Baxter.
The Maritzburg United winger didn’t really impress at the Olympics after he was played in various positions, but that won’t be the case if he gets his first cap for Bafana. There is plenty of competition, however, although it wouldn’t hurt to give him a run at this level.
Modiba can play at leftback as well as on the wing, giving coaches options. He’s only going to get better and even a brief cameo in these two upcoming Bafana matches will do his confidence a world of good.
It is a bit of a worry that his appearances for Pirates have been haphazard up to now, but he does deserve to be in the Bafana set-up on the evidence of his showing when in an U23 jersey. Motupa is one of the best at being in the right place at the right time, but what he lacks is a finishing touch.