Africa Cup of Nations
Return of key players could get Bafana into CAF
SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has said that with several high-profile players returning from injury he expects Bafana Bafana to be able to earn the point they need against Libya to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.
SA meet Libya‚ probably in neighbouring Tunisia‚ on the weekend of March 22-24 and need a draw to reach the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in June and July. Libya need a win.
Jordaan said with coach Stuart Baxter welcoming back a number of key performers who had missed previous qualifiers in 2018, Bafana should be able to earn a draw.
“The fortunate side for us is that most of the players who had long-term injuries are back‚” the Safa president said.
“Rivaldo Coetzee is back and so is Bongani Zungu. Kamohelo Mokotjo‚ Keagan Dolly‚ Themba Zwane and Dean Furman are all back. So the coach has got most of his squad available and we should be able to collect our point.”
Despite Jordaan’s enthusiasm‚ two of the players he mentions are touch-and-go for Baxter’s Libya squad. Zungu had been earning rave reviews for Amiens SC in France’s Ligue 1 before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury in early September 2018. Having only returned to training this month, he is a long shot for the Libya game.
Dolly played in a 1-1 draw against Libya in Durban at the start of 2018, then missed the other three games of the year: the 6-0 home win and 0-0 away draw against Seychelles‚ and the 1-1 home draw against Nigeria.
He suffered a fractured leg at the start of the 2018-2019 season‚ then a calf injury soon after making a return.
Having returned to training for Montpellier‚ Dolly must also still earn game time soon to be seriously considered for the Bafana squad.
Brentford’s Mokotjo and SuperSport United’s Furman were missed as a central partnership against Nigeria. They have both returned to action for their clubs.
Centreback Coetzee returned in December from corrective foot surgery that kept him out for Mamelodi Sundowns for more than a year.