SABC News - Khune named Bafana captain :Thursday 14 March 2013

Khune named Bafana captain

Thursday 14 March 2013 14:05

SAPA

Itumeleng Khune to captain Bafana Bafana in Khumalo's absence.(SABC)

Former Bafana Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo has been dropped from the squad to face Central African Republic (CAR) in a World Cup qualifier in Cape Town next week.

Coach Gordon Igesund says Khumalo, who led the team at the recent Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, lacked game time and was carrying a slight injury.

“Everybody is aware that he played his first game for his team (Greek club PAOK) last week and he's carrying a slight injury. I've chosen not to choose him on the strength that he has not been playing for his club,” says Igesund after naming his 23-man squad.

Igesund picked popular Kaizer Chiefs captain, Itumeleng Khune to lead the side in Khumalo's absence.

He also played down the significance of omitting the defender ahead of the crucial qualifying match. “Sometimes we make too much of captaincy, there are many players who are leaders and I think Khune will do a good job,” says Igesund.

Igesund made five changes to the squad that turned out at Afcon, with defenders Siboniso Gaxa and Khumalo making way for Russia-based Siyanda Xulu and Morgan Gould of Kaizer Chiefs.

Belgium-based Daylon Claasen makes a return to the squad, along with Dino Ndlovu, who plays his club football in Israel, and Daine Klate from Orlando Pirates.

Thulani Serero and Katlego Mphela were dropped, while Lehlohonolo Majoro was not considered due to injury.

“I did not make too many changes because I believe in continuity, we need to continue from where we left off in the Afcon tournament,” added Igesund.

"I still believe we have a good chance of qualifying for Brazil in 2014, provided we win our upcoming match and go and do well in the two away matches,” says an optimistic Igesund.

Bafana are third in their qualifying group with two points, two adrift of leaders Ethiopia, and one behind second-placed CAR. Botswana are lying bottom of the table with one point.

Bafana Bafana squad: Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Senzo Meyiwa.

Defenders: Siyanda Xulu, Anele Ngcongca, Thabo Matlaba, Tsepo Masilela, Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Sangweni, Thabo Nthethe.

Midfielders: Thuso Phala, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Dean Furman, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Daylon Claasen, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, May Mahlangu, Oupa Manyisa, Lerato Chabangu, Daine Klate.

Forwards: Bernard Parker, Dino Ndlovu, Tokelo Rantie.

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