2018 WCQ: South Africa name squad for Burkina clash

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has released a 25-man squad for next month’s crucial 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso.

The Bafana Bafana would host the tie at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, October 7 with kickoff set at 3pm local time (1300 GMT).

In the reverse encounter, Bafana Bafana held Burkina Faso to a 1-1 draw in Ouagadougou last year (8 October). South Africa scored first in the 80th minute through Dean Furman before Banou Diawara equalised in referee’s optional time.

While the West Africans remain unbeaten in Group D, Bafana Bafana’s campaign took a massive knock with back-to-back 2-1 defeats to Cape Verde which have left South Africa with a mountain to climb in their attempts to reach the Fifa World Cup in Russia 2018.

Burkina Faso are on six points, level with Cape Verde, but the Burkinabe lead the group due to superior goal difference. Senegal are third on five points, with Bafana Bafana bottom of the table on one point.

South Africa need to win the remaining three games to stand a realistic chance of qualifying for the Fifa World Cup next year. They have been asked to replay their game against Senegal – which they had won 2-1 – after Fifa said the match had been manipulated by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey.

Baxter said while his side faces a tall order, anything is possible in the game of football.

“After the disappointment of our two games against Cape Verde, the morale is definitely low but that is our (technical team) duty to lift the boys up. We need to get them firing again and I know the boys are capable of doing so.

“It is one area where we will have to work on when camp starts (lifting their confidence levels). Burkina Faso has physically imposing players and we need to counter that with our natural flair and speed. I am confident if we play the way we did against Nigeria, we can come good again,” said coach Baxter.

South Africa will open camp in Johannesburg on Sunday, 1 October.

Invited players:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Ronwen Williams

Defenders: Thamsanqa Mkhize, Clayton Daniels, Morgan Gould, Thulani Hlatshwayo (c), Erick Mathoho, Reeve Frosler, Sifiso Hlanti, Tebogo Langerman

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, Keegan Dolly, Andile Jali, Kamogelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu, Thulani Serero, Phakamani Mahlambi, Lebo Manyama

Strikers: Percy Tau, Lebogang Mothiba, Bradley Grobler, Dino Ndlovu





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