Rantie has played in all four of Bafana Bafana’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers thus far, starting three games but netting just one goal, in the 2-0 victory over Congo-Brazzaville in Pointe Noire last month. And he is back in the squad for the qualifiers against Sudan on November 15 and Nigeria on November 19.
At the same time, the 24 year-old striker has battled to get into the starting line-up at Championship side Bournemouth this season. Rantie has yet to start a league game for Eddie Howe’s side this season, though he did score twice coming off the bench in an 8-0 win at Birmingham on October 25.
Rantie has also started three of Bournemouth’s four games in the Capital One Cup this season. The Cherries have reached the quarterfinals of that competition, and are top of the Championship.
“I did indicate at some stage that if a player doesn’t play in his team, it doesn’t stop us selecting him if we know what a player can offer,” said Mashaba today, at a Carling Black Label Coach the Coaches workshop.
“Tokelo has not been bad, the only thing has been his finishing. He creates chances, his running off the ball is good, and he has pace. He has just not been lucky to score goals. He should be our top scorer. In the four games we have played (in qualifying) he has had two or three chances every game. He should have scored at least once in each game to reach four goals.
“We are not going to despair … but this is why we had to call up so many strikers. In my life, on a team list, this is the first time I have had so many strikers. Normally you only call three strikers but this is because of the problem of finishing.”
Mashaba has named five strikers in his squad for the games against Sudan in Durban and Nigeria in Uyo – Rantie, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Bongani Ndulula, Kermit Erasmus and Lehlohonolo Majoro.