Local News 2.9.2016 09:15 am

Hlatshwayo to captain Bafana again

Thulani Hlatshwayo (left), scored his first goal for his country in his first game as Bafana captain. Pic: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Thulani Hlatshwayo (left), scored his first goal for his country in his first game as Bafana captain. Pic: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Thulani Hlatshwayo will captain Bafana Bafana for the second time as they take on Mauritania on Friday in their final 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Mbombela Stadium.

The Bidvest Wits central defender is a slightly surprising choice as skipper ahead of  Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune. Khune has captained Bafana for most of their competitive matches under Mashaba, since he returned from injury after missing the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Hlatshwayo was, however, also chosen ahead of Khune the first time ‘Tyson’ captained the national team, in a friendly against Swaziland in March 2015.

South Africa’s chances of qualifying for Gabon 2017 are gone, and Mashaba has picked a couple of younger players for this game. Abbubaker Mobara and Aubrey Modiba both make their Nations Cup qualifying debuts, after impressing in the 2016 Cosafa Cup and at the Olympics Games in Brazil.

Keagan Dolly misses the match with a hamstring injury, while Sibusiso Vilakazi is preferred to Tokelo Rantie in attack.

Mobara will play at right back, with Ramahlwe Mphahlele slotting in alongside Hlatswhayo in central defence. Mashaba is missing his regular central defensive pairing of Rivaldo Coetzee and Eric Mathoho through illness and injury respectively.

Bafana XI: Khune, Mobara, Mphahlele, Hlatshwayo ©, Langerman, Makola, Kekana, Jali, Modiba, Vilakazi, Gabuza

Substitues: Mabokgwane, Daniels, Furman, Masango, Rantie, Morupa, Hlanti

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