It has been a while since South African football fans heard of our national team, Bafana Bafana; probably the last they heard of its mention was in October last year, when their head coach Shakes Mashaba was preparing for a qualifying match against Angola for the world cup to be held in Russia 2018. For the first time in 2016 we hear Bra Shakes talking about team selection and announcing the final squad.
This time Mashaba was really struggling to find suitable players that will play against Cameron, affectionately known as the Indomitable Lions. You must remember that our Bafana is on the bottom of the log in their group with a goal difference of 5 behind Cameron, whilst Cameron is leading the group. On Saturday, 26th March 2016 the Lions will be hosting South Africa at the Stade Omisports de Limbe at 16h30 Central African Time (CAT).
Without much rest Bafana Bafana will welcome Cameron for a second leg at the Moses Mabida stadium, Durban, on Monday, 29th March 2016 at 19h30 CAT. Many say it is an open secret that Bra Shakes is no match for the Lions, unless his strikers would pull up their socks. Currently on the PSL the striker who is a top goal scorer is Collins Mbesuma whose origin is Zambian with 12 goals followed by 2 South African players, with not much experience of playing at the national team level, Prince Nxumalo and Thobani Mncwango with 11 and 10 goals respectively. Most of the players with good scoring records are not of South African origin like Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand), Leonardo Castro (Colombia), Andrea Filleci (Belgium) and James Keene (England).
There is only one South African player who is not shy about goal scoring, Dino Ndlovu. He has scored 17 goals in 22 games for his Belgium team, Anothorsis Famagusta in Cipriot. Ndlovu was called for World Cup Qualifiers, even though it was a last minute call up, did not even play during that game. Probably our hope for strikers is dependent on teams that have good development strategies and Schools of Excellence. Once the scouting has been done, the selected upcoming players may be registered in a football academy where they will be trained, mentored and be taught life skills preferably by former strikers of note.
Here is the team that Mashaba announced; Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Jackson Mahongwane
and Daren Keet. Defenders: Siyabonga Nhlapo, Asavela Mbekile, Anele Ngcongca, Thabo Matlaba, Cheslyn Jampies, Eric Mathoho, Sifiso Hlanti, Rivaldo Coetzee and Thulani Hlatshwayo
Strikers: Thamsanqa Gabuza, Prince Nxumalo, Tokelo Rantie and Dino Ndlovu.
We wait to see with interest how our strikers will perform because Cameron has great history against South Africa since their clash in 1992. We wish our strikers the best. May they make Bra Shakes Proud!