Its Winning Time; South Africa vs Gambia 2017 Afcon Qualifier


South African football followers should be used to this all too familiar predicament; standing on the brink of yet another failure to qualify for a major international competition, knowing that our fate rests upon us changing our fortunes while also hoping for a downturn in form for other teams in our group and a few others. It was only natural for the announcement of the squad to come with less scepticism as much of the hope has been deflated out of the nation with little to no sign of improvement in the offing from our Commander In Chief. The squad itself has some interesting inclusions and omissions with our midfield offering some exciting combinations that the gaffer can use to inspire the charges to a dominant win over Gambia, who themselves have failed to muster a win and have only scored a single goal in their 4 qualifiers in Group M thus far. South Africa are yet to win a game in the group and now would be the perfect time to show the nation that they are prepared to fight for our national pride and put on the calibre of performance that restores that deflated air of confidence within our senior national football team.

Bafana Bafana Preliminary Squad



Name Club Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs FC 28 1, 81m 20 Games, 20 Goals Conceded & 6 Clean Sheets
Jackson Mabokgwane Mpumalanga Black Aces FC 28 1, 75m 11 Games, 11 Goals Conceded & 4 Clean Sheets
Brighton Mhlongo Orlando Pirates FC 25 1, 87m 20 Games, 18 Goals Conceded & 7 Clean Sheets



Name Club Position/s Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Ramahlwe Mphahlele Mamelodi Sundowns FC RB/CB 26 1, 76m 24 Games, 2 Assists & 2 Yellow Cards
Thabo Matlaba Orlando Pirates FC RB/LB 28 1, 69m 26 Games, 3 Goals, 3 Assist & 6 Yellow Cards
Diamond Thopola Chippa United FC RB/LB 26   27 Games, 1 Assist & 6 Yellow Cards
Mulomowandau Mathoho Kaizer Chiefs FC CB 26 1, 90m 34 Games, 5 Goals & 6 Yellow Cards
Rivaldo Coetzee Ajax Cape Town FC CB 19 1, 79m 31 Games & 5 Yellow Cards
Teboho Langerman Mamelodi Sundowns FC LB/LW/DM 30 1, 80m 32 Games, 2 Goals, 4 Assists & 5 Yellow Cards
Sifiso Hlanti BidVest Wits FC LB 26 1, 81m 12 Games, 1 Goal, 1 Assist & 1 Yellow Card



Name Club Position/s Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Hlompho Kekana Mamelodi Sundowns FC DM 30 1, 76m 37 Games, 8 Goals, 2 Assists, 6 Yellow Cards & 1 Double Yellow/Red
Andile Jali KV Oostende DM/DLP 26 1, 72m 35 Games, 1 Goal, 2 Assists & 3 Yellow Cards
Dean Furman SuperSport United FC DM/DLP 27 1, 83m 26 Games, 1 Goal, 8 Yellow Cards & 1 Double Yellow/Red
May Mahlangu Sint-Truidense VV DLP/AM/AP (L/R/C) 27 1, 73m 19 Games, 2 Goals & 1 Yellow Card
Mpho Makola Orlando Pirates FC AM/AP(L/R/C) 30 1, 70m 27 Games, 7 Goals, 2 Assists & 3 Yellow Cards
Thulani Serero AFC Ajax DLP/AM/AP (L/R/C) 26 1, 64m 22 Games, 1 Goal, 1 Yellow Card
Mandla Masango Randers FC AM/AP(L/R/C) 26 1, 70m 27 Games, 5 Goals & 2 Yellow Cards
Thapelo Morena Bloemfontein Celtic FC AM/AP/AF/CF (L/R/C) 22 1, 70m 29 Games, 6 Goals, 1 Assist
Keagan Dolly Mamelodi Sundowns FC AM/AP(L/R/C) 23 1, 70m 37 Games, 7 Goals, 7 Assists & 4 Yellow Cards
Sibusiso Vilakazi BidVest Wits FC AM/AP/AF/DLF 26 1, 70m 28 Games, 8 Goals, 3 Assists & 1 Yellow Card



Name Club Age Height 2015/16 Stats
Thamsanqa Gabuza Orlando Pirates FC 28 1, 83m 18 Games, 2 Goals, 2 Assists & 3 Yellow Cards
Ndumiso Mabena Platinum Stars FC 29 1, 80m 25 Games, 10 Goals, 3 Assists, 2 Yellow Cards & 2 Red Cards
Thobani Mncwango Polokwane City FC 28 1, 80m 29 Games, 12 Goals, 1 Assist & 1 Yellow Card


South Africa vs Gambia 2017 African Cup of Nations Qualifier

Date: Saturday June 4th, 2016

Venue: Independence Stadium, Bakau; Gambia

The Grandstand View

The return of Ramahlwe Mphahlele will be a welcome one for many fans and players alike, Rama is arguably the best natural right full back in the Bafana fold and this window of opportunity is one the Mamelodi Sundowns skipper needs to grasp as he seeks to stake his claim for the starting role moving forward. A consistent defence offers our team a solid foundation that allows us to play more adventurously in attacking positions with the knowledge that the defensive unit is cohesive enough to deal with threats posed on the counter-attack.

Bafana Bafana are gifted with many talented midfield players that can be said to have underperformed collectively in the Green & Gold; the recall of May Mahlangu could inspire a change of fortunes within the current setup, May has matured enough to conduct that orchestra and follow-up those glimpses of brilliance he showed previously. Keagan Dolly is another marvellous talent that has been on the fringes of the senior national team setup for a while and his brilliant performances at club and junior international level have forced him into the fray and presented us with an opportunity to try some new combinations in our midfield. A naturally left-sided player has been much needed for Bafana Bafana, we can now have a far more balanced midfield that can pose more dynamic treats to the opposition and offer us more goal threats.

Regardless of how long the odds are, we have to have faith in what we can control while praying for fate to turn in our favour; a win against Gambia is essential as it gives us the morale boost we need going into the final group match against Mauritania, where another win could have us reaching for our calculators and abacuses while glancing at the permutations.