Bafana play the Seychelles tomorrow at the FNB Stadium in qualifying Group E, before a rematch in the island nation on Tuesday.
Six points from those two games will virtually put Bafana on the plane to the 2019 Afcon, and Mothiba has to be one of their best chances of clinching those victories, with the 22-year-old in brilliant scoring form in France’s Ligue 1.
Bafana battled in front of goal in their last qualifier as they drew 0-0 with Libya in Durban, with Mothiba out injured. Baxter has brought in Bartlett, who remains second on Bafana’s all-time goalscoring charts, to help out with the squad this week.
“He is a legend, and he knows exactly what you need to do to finish as a striker, so he is helping us a lot in the national team and we are happy to have him here,” said Mothiba yesterday.
Mothiba already has five goals in Ligue 1 this season, one with Lille and four with his new club Strasbourg. He warmed up for tomorrow’s match with a double as Stasbourg drew 2-2 at Angers, and also scored in a midweek training match against SuperSport United.
“I am very happy to be here to represent my country, it is always good as a striker to score, you get the confidence and hunger to score even more goals. I am here to do my best to help the national team,” added Mothiba, who will be playing his first competitive match for Bafana if he takes the field. Mothiba played for Bafana in a friendly tournament in March, netting two goals, but would love to get his first in an Africa Cup of Nations or World Cup qualifier.
“Of course, as a striker, in my first (competitive) game for my national team, I want to score and help the team win,” he said.
Seychelles are very much the minnows of Group E – they do not have a professional league and were hammered 5-1 and 3-0 by Libya and Nigeria in their opening two qualifiers.
Baxter has called up Cape Town City’s Gift Links to the squad, meanwhile, to replace the injured Sibusiso Vilakazi, but said that Links would only be available for selection for Tuesday’s away match.
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