Khune makes Bafana Bafana cut, Xulu and Gamildien return to the national team

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Itumeleng Khune, Bafana Bafana, Limbe Stadium
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The Amakhosi goalkeeper has attracted a lot of criticism due to his unimpressive form this season but is back in the national team fold

South Africa coach Molefi Ntseki has selected troubled Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan.

South Africa are set to host the Black Stars in a Group C match on March 25, before winding up their qualification campaign against Sudan away three days later.

Ntseki named his 26-man squad for the matches on Thursday with Khune being included.

In a difficult season for Amakhosi, Khune's game has been highlighted by errors which had cost Chiefs.

He was also recently stripped of the captain's armband which has been handed to Ramahlwe Mphahlele by coach Gavin Hunt.

But after also selecting the goalkeeper for back-to-back Afcon qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe last November amid some unimpressive form, Ntseki has again turned to Khune.

The Amakhosi gloveman has been under criticism for some costly mistakes which at one time saw him being frozen out of the team between December and February.

The 33-year-old has featured in 12 matches for Amakhosi across all competitions this season and has conceded 18 goals while keeping three clean sheets.

As Ntseki announced his squad, he also included AmaZulu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa who got a maiden call-up.

Returning to the Bafana Bafana squad are in-form Swallows FC midfielder Ruzaigh Gamildien and Israel-based defender Siyanda Xulu who had both been away from the national team for a number of years.

Not many changes are in Ntseki’s squad from the team that reported for camp for the Sao Tome matches in their last international assignment.

Swallows defender Sifiso Hlanti is also back in the national team while Pirates’ Ben Motswari is in.

Bafana are pushing for a ticket to the Afcon finals to be hosted by Cameroon next year.

They are second in Group C with nine points, the same as leaders Ghana who enjoy top spot courtesy of a better head-to-head record.

 

Bafana Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Veli Mothwa (Amazulu FC) Ronwen Williams (Supersport United FC) Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs FC)

Defenders: Thibang Phete (OS Belenenses, Portugal) Siyanda Xulu (Haopel Tel Aviv, Israel) Thulani Hlatshwayo (Orlando Pirates), Mosa Lebusa (Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Sifiso Hlanti (Swallows) Thapelo Morena (Sundowns), Craig Martin (Cape Town City)

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Midfielders: Rivaldo Coetzee (Sundowns) Themba Zwane (Sundowns) Thulani Serero (Al Jazira FC, Abu Dhabi) Ben Motshwari (Orlando Pirates) Bongani Zungu (Rangers FC, Scotland) Keagan Dolly(Montpellier FC, France) Percy Tau (Brighton and Hove Albion, England), Sipho Mbule (Supersport United), Andile Jali (Sundowns), Luther Singh (Paços de Ferreira, Portugal), Dean Furman(Carlisle United FC, England)

Strikers: Kermit Erasmus (Sundowns FC) Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United) Ruzaigh Gamildien (Swallows FC) Lyle Foster (Victoria Guimaraes, Portugal)

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