Ronwen Williams will start for a Bafana Bafana lineup deprived by injury of goalkeepers in Friday night’s hugely-crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde in Praia.
The 25-year-old SuperSport United goalkeeper‚ who has just four international caps‚ has been thrust into the spotlight by the injuries to Bafana No.1 Itumeleng Khune and No.2 Darren Keet.
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter might have been tempted to opt for the more experienced new Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
The 34-year-old has just six Bafana caps but more Caf Champions League experience than Williams with previous club Mamelodi Sundowns‚ including a starring role as a substitute in the second leg of last year’s final victory against Zamalek in Alexandria.
But Baxter has gone with the man in possession as Williams was named in the original squad.
The coach has made two changes from Bafana’s last serious match‚ and his first in charge‚ the 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win against Nigeria in Uyo on June 10‚ which was followed by a friendly and string of lesser Chan and Cosafa Cup fixtures.
The one at keeper was enforced. The PSL’s 2016-17 player of the season and top scorer Lebogang Manyama comes in for Sibusiso Vilakazi‚ who was dropped from the squad‚ at deep striker behind Tokelo Rantie.
Manyama was transferred on Thursday from Cape Town City to Konyaspor in Turkey.
Kickoff is at 8.30pm SA time (5.30pm in Cape Verde)‚ and the match will be televised live on SuperSport 4 and SuperSport 10.
Bafana starting XI: Ronwen Williams – Ramahlwe Mphahlele‚ Mulomowandau Mathoho‚ Thulani Hlatshwayo‚ Tebogo Langerman – Themba Zwane‚ Dean Furman‚ Bongani Zungu‚ Keagan Dolly – Lebogang Manyama‚ Tokelo Rantie.
by Marc Strydom – TimesLIVE