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Baxter: Mothiba isn’t typically South African

Lebohang Mothiba (22) will play his first official match for South Africa, having been with the squad during the unofficial Four Nations Cup earlier in the year.

Bafana Bafana striker Lebohang Mothiba in training. Picture:@BafanaBafana/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has labelled young striker Lebohang Mothiba’s attributes as ‘not South Africa’ ahead of the Strasbourg based striker’s impending Bafana debut against the Seychelles in an Afcon qualifier at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Mothiba who started his youth career with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2007, before moving to Diambars football academy in Senegal and later to the French Ligue 1 with Losc Lille and now Strasbourg, will play his first official match for South Africa, having been with the squad during the unofficial Four Nations Cup earlier in the year.

Baxter describes Mothiba as 'not South African', having spent most of his young adult life in Europe.

“Lebo isn’t typically South African and I say this with all due respect to all the other players in the country. He is a target player, he holds people off and is an unpleasant boy to play against with a nose for goal.”

Though Baxter froths at the mouth over Mothiba’s physical attributes, he doesn’t want to put goalscoring pressure on him.

“We want him to be natural and we want him to understand how we want to play but also we have to understand how he plays. He will only get better and better, so I don’t think that we should put unnecessary pressure on him, but he is a strong boy and has shown this week that his standards have been quite level and hasn’t had one great training session and one bad one.”

Kick off at the FNB Stadium is at 15:30 on Saturday.

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