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Sundowns goalkeeper Pieterse replaces Keet in Bafana Bafana squad to face Zambia

7:22 PM MYT 01/09/2019
Mamelodi Sundowns, Reyaad Pieterse, September 2018
Pieterse is yet to feature for the Brazilians this season but he has been given a chance to revive his international career by coach Molefi Ntseki

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse has made his return to the national team following the withdrawal of Darren Keet from the Bafana Bafana squad to play Zambia in Lusaka next weekend. 

According to a statement released by the South African Football Association (Safa), Keet is unable to make it for this encounter as he is currently finalizing his work permit in Belgium

Coach Ntseki had previously included Keet in his squad alongside Brendon Petersen and Ronwen Williams. 

The 50-year-old mentor opted to overlook Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma this time around, perhaps to try and widen the pool of players for the future. 

Pieterse is the second player to be called up as a replacement by Ntseki this weekend, following Luckyboy Mokoena's inclusion on Saturday. 

The Highlands Park defender had taken the place of Sundowns full-back Thapelo Morena, who is nursing an ankle injury. 

Here is the media statement as released by Safa:   

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet, as well as defender Thapelo Morena, have both been withdrawn from the squad to face Zambia in an international friendly clash on Saturday, 7 September 2019.

Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns) is nursing an injury while Keet is finalizing his work permit in Belgium, which requires him to stay in that country until all the paperwork is done.

Riyaad Pieterse of Mamelodi Sundowns has been called up to replace Keet with Luckyboy Mokoena of Highlands Park getting his first call up to take the place of Morena.

The squad assembles tonight (Sunday, 1 September 2019) in Johannesburg, and departs for Zambia on Thursday, 5 September.

This will be Ntseki’s first match in charge following the resignation of head coach Stuart Baxter after the Afcon tournament.

South Africa is using this match to prepare for the upcoming back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan to be played in November.

Bafana Bafana will return to South Africa the day after the match against Zambia (Sunday, 8 September).