Bafana Bafana squad: Khune, Zungu, Grobler return for Afcon qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe

Molefi Ntseki, Bafana Bafana, October 2020
Molefi Ntseki’s side returns to competitive action after exactly a year

South Africa national team coach Molefi Ntseki has brought back Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, Bongani Zungu and forward Bradley Grobler for the November back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying Group C matches against Sao Tome e Principe.

Bafana are set to host the islanders at FNB Stadium on November 13, before travelling to Sao Tome for the return fixture three days later.

Khune headlines returnees in Ntseki’s 25-man squad as the goalkeeper last featured for the national team in November 2018 in a 2019 Afcon qualifier against Nigeria.

The Chiefs skipper had been called up for the same matches against Sao Tome in March this year before the games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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But after being excluded from last month’s international friendly matches against Namibia and Zambia, Khune had appeared not to be in Ntseki’s plans.

Rangers midfielder Zungu is also back after being overlooked by Ntseki in Bafana’s last games, with the player publicly expressing frustration over being ignored.

Also making a return to the South Africa squad is SuperSport United forward Bradley Grobler who was omitted for the Namibia and Zambia friendlies but convinced Ntseki with a brace in the opening weekend of the Premier Soccer League season.

Dean Furman who is now with English League Two side Carlisle United is also back, together with US-based Kamohelo Mokotjo.

Mamelodi Sundowns utility player Lyle Lakay has also been included.

Ntseki has kept faith in the bulk of players he used in the 1-1 draw against Namibia and the 2-1 defeat to Zambia.

South Africa are second in Group C and are keen to dislodge Ghana from the top in the bid for the next Afcon edition to be hosted by Cameroon.

Sudan are third in this group while Sao Tome anchor the standings.


Bafana Bafana squad

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Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Darren Keet (Oud-Haverlee Leuven) Defenders: Thibang Phete (OS Belenenses SAD (Portugal), Motjeka Madisha, Lyle Lakay (both Mamelodi Sundowns), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Orlando Pirates), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Abubaker Mobara (Cape Town City), Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs), Rushine De Reuck (Maritzburg United)

Midfielders: Andile Jali (Mamelodi Sundowns), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Teboho Mokoena (Supersport United), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Percy Tau (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium), Luther Singh (Braga FC, Portugal), Thulani Serero (Al Jazira, UAE), Bongani Zungu (Rangers FC, Scotland), Lebogang Manyama (Kaizer Chiefs), Kamohelo Mokotjo (FC Cincinnati, USA), Dean Furman (Carlisle United, England)

Forwards: Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg United), Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United), Kermit Erasmus (Mamelodi Sundowns)