Mokoena keeps Bafana spot

2010-08-05 12:38

Johannesburg - New South Africa coach Pitso Mosimane kept faith on Thursday in under-fire captain Aaron Mokoena for an August 11 friendly against Ghana at Soccer City.

Mokoena, who plays for English second-tier club Portsmouth, was blamed for several of the goals that condemned the 2010 World Cup hosts to a first-round exit two months ago.

Media speculation had hinted Mosimane would ditch veteran Mokoena, who became the first South African to reach 100 caps when skippering his country in a pre-World Cup friendly against Guatemala.

Mokoena critics say he consistently concedes free kicks in dangerous positions, plays opponents on side by reacting too slowly, and is not an inspiring leader.

South Africa held Mexico, crashed to Uruguay and defeated demoralised France in a World Cup group and were pipped for the second qualifying place on goal difference by the Central Americans.

Mosimane, who replaced veteran Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira after the World Cup, retained 17 of the 23-man squad that became the first from a host nation not to make the second round.

Out go goalkeeper Shuaib Walters, defenders Matthew Booth and Lucas Thwala, midfielder Lance Davids and striker Siyabonga Nomvete while injury rules out centreback Bongani Khumalo.

In come defenders Morgan Gould, Bevan Fransman and Innocent Mdledle, midfielder Daine Klate and striker Sthembiso Ngcobo for the clash with World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana.

Gould would probably have been a first-choice World Cup centreback but for injury while Fransman and Mdledle were among those axed from the preliminary 30-strong squad.

Wide player Klate was considered too physically slight by Parreira while surprise selection Ngcobo snubbed a call-up last year for a friendly against Chile.

Mosimane has publicly stated his opposition to the 4-5-1 system favoured by 1994 World Cup-winning coach Parreira, preferring two strikers and one fewer midfielder.

The other strikers chosen for the clash with the Black Stars, Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker, started against France and South Africa created far more chances in that match than the previous two.

Officials are hoping for a sell-out 85 000 crowd although the biggest Ghana drawcard - Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien - has not been included nor Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari.


Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders: Bevan Fransman (Hapoel Tel Aviv/ISR), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould (SuperSport Utd), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa/ISR), Innocent Mdledle (Pirates), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth/ENG), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk/BEL), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows)

Midfielders: Daine Klate and Teko Modise (Pirates), Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham/ENG), Thanduyise Khuboni (Arrows), Surprise Moriri (Sundowns), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan/RUS), Steven Pienaar (Everton/ENG)

Strikers: Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Sthembiso Ngcobo (Chiefs), Bernard Parker (Twente/NED)


  • Zzz - 2010-08-05 12:50

    What "muti" is Aaron Mokoena using cos he's always selected???

  • Chado - 2010-08-05 12:52

    Good Luck Pitso... U will need lots of it with useless Teko still in the team.

  • piedapiper - 2010-08-05 12:53


  • Nthlarhi - 2010-08-05 12:55

    F@%& Pitso! This was your chance to win our trust on you but you proved to us that Parreira is still the coach or you do as SAFA says. Where's Mathew Patterson? what's Ngcobo doing here? Why did you fail to axe Mokoena, Sibaya, Dikgacoi? I now agree with those who say you will take us backwards. To make it worse, you are arrogant!

  • The Khosi one - 2010-08-05 12:56

    Well why have you selected Ngcobo then if you haven't seen him play? Having been in the squad before is NOT a valid reason, it is some pretty DUMB reasoning so to speak. Otherwise good starting line up. I'm not going to comment further coz there are more Coaches all over SA.

  • The Khosi one - 2010-08-05 13:00

    Giving Teko a second (if not last) chance after his disapointing spell in the WC is fair, but Mbazo has been given more than anough 2nd chances. . .it's time to call it quits for the guy, he is too recklessly careless around th penalty area.

  • Buda - 2010-08-05 13:02

    Excellent choice of players....Should've left Mokoena & Teko, maybe it's because I'm a a soccer coach,...maar all the best Pitso...!!

  • Neo Motsau - 2010-08-05 13:03

    HEHEHEH! Wena moshimane moshimanyane.Dare to loose dis match my boy and you will see

  • Clive - 2010-08-05 13:03

    It is a fair squad considering that this is Pitso's first and we are facing a quality side. I am just worried that I still find the captain in defence instead of the midfield. I am a Pitso fan but immediately I saw that positioning of the captain, I was very much discouraged. He is a strong player with strong character but we are not doing him any good by continuing to play him there. The more we do, the more unpopular he will be with the fans.

  • Tumelo - 2010-08-05 13:04

    Moving foward as the nation after we hosted a successful world cup depends on how we maintain the standard we have set for ourselves, we been desperate to have a local coach so its through our support that Pitso will be able to deliver thanx

  • The Ball - 2010-08-05 13:05

    Fair enough continuity, and ofcourse proper handing over to the new Captain to be oppointed on the day, most of all a win is expected because there is a lot of work still to be done to climb those FIFA rankings.

  • Joe - 2010-08-05 13:06

    i think this oke scraping the barrel with Teko. No Franklin Cale! Glad Gould made it.

  • StuartW - 2010-08-05 13:08

    Where is Booth?

  • Martin - 2010-08-05 13:09

    Teko Modise se dingis maan. Lomfan'ugeza ngan?

  • MBUYI - 2010-08-05 13:10

    Jingles, please try the Sangweni & Gould partnership in central defence for a change going forward. Suprise & Aaron should have not been included in the team, should have selected Pattison & Erusmus for the future we really need these young players for the future. I honestly think Schillo should have been given a rest like he was rested by Everton, the poor guy needs a break. Good luck & may the best team win.

  • The Khosi one - 2010-08-05 13:15

    Giving Modise a 2nd (if not last) chance is fair. I am now starting to believe there are powers behind every BB coach's decision, HOW on can they all fail to see what ALL SOUTH AFRICANS see??? MBAZO'S TIME IS UP!! PERIOD!

  • The Sportsman - - 2010-08-05 13:16

    I don't want this guy to fail, but boy that is a pretty shoddy selection... Teko? Ngcobo? Morriri? Come on, look around Pitso, select some of the actual talent and not players because of their marketability. *sigh*

  • Vusi - 2010-08-05 13:19

    Same old tried and tested flops, Coach pitso or should i say, Carlos. what a shame,

  • Pattison's inclusion - 2010-08-05 13:20

    Where is Pattison or Matthew Booth, Mr Khompela has to interfere as he does in Rugby.South Africa Black Squad, Please Mr Coach we need a NAtional Soccer squad, Mzanzi Style nowhere to given chance,SKills will never win us games.But good players with a will to succeed will win us games.Rest Guys like Modise to regain his form

  • Maredi - 2010-08-05 13:20

    Why was Matthew Pattison left out Pitso?

  • Will - 2010-08-05 13:21

    Good squad, great to see Morgan Gould there, I think with Bongani Khumalo's injury, Pitso had no choice but to select Mokoena, we can't start with a brand new defensive partnership, after all it is a very good Ghana team that we are playing. Mokoena knows that he will have to perform, otherwise his time will be over, same goes for Dikgacoi. A lot of the local players will also use this opportunity to impress with a possible move to Europe still on the cards. Personally I think Ngcobo is better than Nomvete. Also very glad that Ghana is brining a strong team. It's gonna be EPIC!

  • hc - 2010-08-05 13:25

    teko, ngonca, mdledle, dikgacoi and ncgobo? wtf!!! where is lance davids, bryce moon, nasief morris, nomvethe, booth. Pitso, it seems with all the changes you made, the apst four years ideal of possession football will be lost and we will have to start all over again, like always. I had some belief when safa said they wanted you so bafana can capitalise on the past four years, i now fear the worst

  • T.J - 2010-08-05 13:31

    Pls Pitso do what is right and not because you want to please someone, you're a head coach for god sake therefore it is up to you whose your selection as long as you're going to bring us positive results.

  • widzo - 2010-08-05 13:33

    If you stil have faith in Teko and Mokoena then u need some prayers bro, so that you know real FAITH. We dont necessarily need a win against Ghana but we need to see whether or not we have a team for 2010 and 2014. The average age of some of your so called faithful players leaves a lot to be desired. Where are the young under 20s who played better football last year? Learn from your next week opponents, have a chat with the Ghana technical team you wil get a few ideas.

  • gav - 2010-08-05 13:33

    Pitso,why u pick all the players from over-seas,do u think their clubs are going to risk them getting hurt playing a friendly,well if i was a coach that pays them and they busy getting ready to start the biggest league in the World,i would not let them come,this game has nothing for BB to gain.sorry,just my thought.

  • T.J - 2010-08-05 13:33

    Pls Pitso do what is right and not because you want to please someone, you're a head coach for god sake therefore it is up to you whose your selection as long as you're going to bring us positive results.

  • enzo - 2010-08-05 13:37


  • Tjoppie - 2010-08-05 13:38

    No quota players again? Hmmm. Rugby must asked them how its done.

  • ron - 2010-08-05 13:38

    why pitso call all these useless players,u know i use to support this guy bt now i'm not so sure....we dont need these old mokoena guy damn...

  • Mohale - 2010-08-05 13:41

    Well done Pitso,you can't satisfy everyone as a lot of people expected their ill disciplined players to be selected for our national team.Our duty is to support and leave the coaching duties to Pitso.

  • sisMakipkip - 2010-08-05 13:43

    OMG what the F#%#k is this.Bloody useless....I got the feeling he'll be fired in three months time becasue he is not going to get any results with those useless players llike Teko,Moriri,Aaron ,Ngcobo and Sibaya.

  • SIZAKELE - 2010-08-05 13:43

    I am very dissapointed because Teko Modise and Aaron Mokoena are not supposed to be part of the team, they are a disgrace. Please do something Pitso and show them that you are the coach.

  • mafloza - 2010-08-05 13:47

    Shoooo Pitso where is Bele Nomvete and Mathew Booth? tell me who was behind Bennie's axing? Come on, be creative, please come up with something concrete. Follow Clive Backer's foot steps and make us proud. anyway you know is either you win or go.

  • Nico - 2010-08-05 13:53

    Pitso if you want to win games not to consider more goal please axe Mbazo and give Khumalo captain belt please my man.

  • Mpho - 2010-08-05 13:56

    Pitso, did you call Parreira for advice on team selection? If not, what is Mokoena & Teko doing in team. In your own opinion, what positive contribution did they make at the World Cup? I was starting to support you but i am dissappointed. Eish, THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME. You are taking us backwards.

  • Tee Ehn - 2010-08-05 13:59

    Its very difficult to comment when there are so very little fresh blood other than Ngcobo. I thoght you were going to introduce young guys, its a friendly game for heaven sake. There is a lot of young talent queing up selection. Don't forget this is what got CLIVE BARKER out of the seat with "tried and tested" team. You really going to need a lot of "GUD LUCK" wishes.

  • South African - 2010-08-05 14:00

    In South African sports we have quotas applicable to team selection. Is soccer somehow excluded from this rainbow nation process? (The SWC certainly seems to confirm this exclusion). I would appreciate an official response please. This is not a racial issue, it is one of principle where there are processes in place to help develop sport and representation throughout this wonderful multi racial country of ours!

  • Blaq Magiq - 2010-08-05 14:01

    The man said he was gonna make some noteworthy changes. Well, where are the changes? Where are the under 23s he spoke about so passionately at that press conference the other day? It's a good idea keeping the core of the squad, yes, but we need to start seeing some serious revolution. There's a lot of dead wood in this squad and it's about time we started seeing the likes of Sibusiso Khumalo, Sifiso Miyeni, Mandla Masango, Michael Morton - to mention but a few.

  • Thabo - 2010-08-05 14:02

    Hayibo!!! Did anyone actually see Parreira leave the country? Does Pitso have a clue...I had him comment after we were "deleted" from the world cup. He mention his lesson being around the formations at the Cup and was looking forward to implementing those...i thought to my self ... in Brasil there will be new formations and so forth...we dont need learners here but coaches who will introduce 'lethal' formations. I think the fact that he retains Parreira squad means he does not have anything to offer but continuity to nowhere. With due respect to him as a person i think he is not suitable for the job.

  • Mrcash - 2010-08-05 14:02

    Why using the same players that we saw during world cup - the whole squad is perriera squad what is the use of being a headcoach without changes and when are we going to see your own selected players

  • Lentswe - 2010-08-05 14:03

    Pitso, this is not a local club that belongs to you or your sponsors, it is the SA squad. So we expect explanations, whether they take whole days or whole weeks. So please comment on your reasons for keeping the deadwood, the stumbling blocks, the overrated fatcats and the old-crocks in the squad. Please explain how you are going to coach a player that you have not seen playing. Frankly, I think Pitso is a weak and clueless coach!

  • Lee - 2010-08-05 14:03

    This is bulls**t... I'm a proud black South African man, but is South Africa made up of black people only? Where are likes of Pattison, Surman, Furman & Lewis to name a few. This is f**ked up Pitso, really now... No progress...

  • @Zzz - 2010-08-05 14:04

    Its the same muti that's going to get Pitso fired and him kept as captain!

  • Mike - 2010-08-05 14:04

    Where the hell is Bongani Khumalo? Isnt he better than Aaron Mokoena?

  • Rami from Sebokeng - 2010-08-05 14:10

    When Maradona was given a chance to coach Argentina, he tried close to 600 just to get the wining combination. lets hope that Pitso selected these players as a team just to measure up. Pitso that is a hot seat we want nothing less than a win or something we can relate to " carpet football" young team with a lot less old guys, one or two to give that experience, not make us loose games. Good luck

  • Siko - 2010-08-05 14:11

    Only here in SA were Mokoena's ability isn't noticed, maybe if they can play him on the same position he plays abroad we might see another side of him, but i still say he is a good player even though he makes costly mistakes

  • Waka waka Eh Eh! - 2010-08-05 14:12

    Do your thing Pitso!! Great start. Some people just don't understand the need for you start with a WIN.

  • Calvin - 2010-08-05 14:24

    Let's nt jst comment, Bongani Khumalo is injured Under 23 players are prepaing thmselves for the tournament. Regarding Teko & Mokwena, How will they perform threir best football where's there's jealous from us the people who supposed to encourage them. Teko is an free roleplayer & Mokwena is a destroyer. let them get their positions & I bet .......... Come on Guys!

  • Mark - 2010-08-05 14:28

    Still no Matthew Booth. How come there are no white guys in the team. Its no wonder white people would rather watch rugby and English Premier League. Are there no good white footballers in SA or playing overseas.

  • tuester - 2010-08-05 14:30

    Pitso, pls do not listen to this people, they do not know what they are talking abt. they are used to complain, everything that you will do they will compalin, so just ignore them.