Nomvethe back in Bafana fold
Siyabonga Nomvethe (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane
has recalled Moroka Swallows veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe to his
27-man squad for three matches next month.
"He [Nomvethe] fits our criteria and the way we play," Mosimane said on Thursday.
is the first call-up for the 34-year-old, among Bafana's all-time
leading scorers with 16 goals in 79 caps, since he was dropped after the
World Cup two years ago.
"In our system, the transition from defence to attack is crucial and he fits that," Mosimane said.
"He has discipline and respects the badge. Nomvethe has never said no to Bafana."
South Africa play two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June against Ethiopia in Rustenburg and Botswana in Gaborone.
They then face 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosts Gabon in a friendly international in Johannesburg.
friendly match fell on a Fifa international date in August but was
shifted forward due to a packed Confederation of African Football (Caf)
fixture list with Afcon and World Cup qualifiers also in the programme.
Mosimane also called up beanpole Santos poacher Eleazor Rodgers upfront, alongside new cap Tokelo Rantie from Orlando Pirates.
They will aid the national side's top striker, Katlego Mphela, who has struggled with form and confidence over the last year.
midfield, nippy Free State Stars winger Mzikakiyise Mashaba was handed a
first call-up, while the Kaizer Chiefs duo of Siphiwe Tshabalala and
Reneilwe Letsholonyane return from injury after they missed the match
against Senegal in February.
The country's number two
shot-stopper, Moeneeb Josephs, also returns from injury, while Darren
Keet was included, with four goalkeepers named in the party.
overseas players were named in the squad, including captain Steven
Pienaar, May Mahlangu and Thulani Serero, but there was no place for
Belgian-based attacking midfielder Daylon Claasen.
- Luvhengo Mungomeni (Swallows), Thami Sangweni (AmaZulu) and
Lehlohonolo Masalesa (Wits) - were named on standby in case of injury.
said victories over Ethiopia and Botswana were key ahead of their away
match against the Central African Republic (CAR) next March, in their
bid to qualify for the 2014 global showpiece.
They hoped to shine
after missing out on qualifying for this year's AFCON tournament when
they failed to interpret the rules correctly.
"It's a big opportunity for us to start off well in the group before we meet CAR," he said.
"In the 2012 AFCON qualifiers we started off well and in the end needed one point to qualify for tournament.
"But we have learnt from the experience and our mistakes.
"It's also the time that the country and Bafana start winning because it's time to break the ice from the draws."
The bulk of the squad will assemble next Monday for a two-week training camp in the North West.
SA Football Association (SAFA) chief executive Robin Peterson also
confirmed an away match against Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland in October.
SAFA said it would announce all fixtures for the rest of the year on May 31.
Itumeleng Khune, Moeneeb Josephs, Wayne Sandilands,
Punch Masenamela, Tsepo Masilela, Eric Mathoho,
Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Sangweni, Bongani Khumalo, Anele
Andile Jali, May Mahlangu, Thulani Serero,
Steven Pienaar (captain), Oupa Manyisa, Reneilwe Letsholonyane,
Mzikayise Mashaba, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Thanduyise Khuboni, Teko Modise,
Katlego Mphela, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Tokelo
Rantie, Eleazor Rodgers