WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Siphiwe Tshabalala back as SA’s talisman
Siphiwe Tshabalala marks his return to the South African national team after an absence of almost four years, when the side takes on Senegal in must-win home and away World Cup qualifiers over the next week.
Tshabalala will look to add to his 88 caps and would not have been called up if coach Stuart Baxter did not see an active role for him in the side.
The Kaizer Chiefs playmaker has netted 12 goals for his country and often came up with a stunner when it was needed most. It is also worth noting that Bafana have never been on the losing side when Tshabalala has found the back of the net.
Here is a look at his five best goals in a national team jersey ahead of the first game against the Senegalese in Polokwane on Friday.
SA 3 PARAGUAY 0 — 26/3/2008 — Friendly
Tshabalala’s first goal for Bafana was one of his best as he exchanged a one-two with Benni McCarthy before executing a superb chip over the Paraguay goalkeeper.
It was also Bafana’s first win over South American opposition and marked McCarthy’s climb to the top of the country’s scoring charts, with his 30th goal, which took him past Shaun Bartlett.
SA 2 NORWAY 1 — 28/3/2009 — Friendly
Tshabalala has often come up with the magical moment when Bafana needed it most and in this friendly against Norway in Rustenburg, he delivered again.
Two minutes into injury-time at the end of the game‚ Tshabalala smashed the ball into the back of the net from 30m with a goal not unlike the one he would score against Mexico later on.
PARAGUAY 1 SA 1 — 31/3/2010 — Friendly
Tshabalala likes games against Paraguay as he executed another stunning strike from 35m. He picked up the ball in the midfield and rifled the ball into the back of the net to secure a pre-2010 World Cup draw.
SA 1 MEXICO 1 — 11/6/2010 — World Cup finals
His most famous Bafana Bafana goal came in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup as Tshabalala collected a through-ball from Kagisho Dikgacoi‚ raced clear and smashed his shot into the top corner. It was later nominated for a Fifa Puskas Award.
SA 3 GABON 0 — 15/6/2012 — Friendly
The second game in a two-match caretaker role for Tshabalala’s current Kaizer Chiefs coach, Steve Komphela, ended in an easy 3-0 win over Gabon and it was the winger who got the scoring under way with a free-kick from 30m into the top corner of the net.