Baxter rings changes for crunch WC qualifier

Bafana Bafana's chances of competing at the World Cup in Russia next year have been handed a major blow after back-to-back defeats to Cape Verde.

FILE: Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter. Picture: @SAFA_net/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has named his squad to face Burkina Faso in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on 7 October.

Most notably he’s included strikers Dino Ndlovu, who has impressed with Azerbaijan club Qarabag, as well as Lebo Mothiba of Valenciennes in the French second division.

Baxter also handed two impressive right-backs a maiden call-up in the form of Reeve Frosler of Wits and Thamsanqa Mkhize of Cape Town City, while Al-Ahly's highly-rated attacker Phakamani Malambi returns to the national team.

The fitness of goalkeeper Ithumeleng Khune is also a huge bonus for the national team considering their troubles in the position during the two ties against Cape Verde.

Absentees from the side that Cape Verde are Thulani Serero, Tokelo Rantie, Kermit Erasmus, Abbubakker Mobara, Dean Furman, Rivaldo Coetzee and Daylon Claasen.

Bafana Bafana's chances of competing at the World Cup in Russia next year have been handed a major blow after back-to-back defeats to Cape Verde and then FIFA's decision to order a replay of the qualifier they won 2-1 against Senegal last year in November.

Bafana prop up Group D with just the solitary point from three games. They trail Senegal by four points and Cape Verde and the Burkina Faso by five.

South Africa squad:

Goalkeepers: Khune, Williams, Sandilands.

Defenders: Mkhize, Daniels, Hlatshwayo, Mathoho, Gould, Frosler, Langerman, Hlanti.

Midfielders: Kekana, Dolly, Zungu, Jali, Mokotjo, Vilakazi, Zwane, Zungu, Mahlambi, Manyama.

Strikers: Tau, Mothiba, Grobler, Ndlovu.