Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has included three new caps in the starting eleven to face Botswana in the first leg of the 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier.
Only four players featured in the 2-0 victory against the same nation in the COSAFA Castle Cup Plate semifinal in Rustenburg – Tercious Malepe, Mario Booysen, Mothobi Mvala and Riyaad Norodien. In goals, Boalefa Pule gets the nod.
Siyabonga Nhlapo gets a start at right back since March 2016 – he is the highest capped player as he makes his 10thappearance. U20 captain Malepe, will slot at left back.
Booysen, who will captain the team, gets his fourth start in a row for the national team – he will be in central defence alongside Mothobi Mvala, who has recovered from the niggling knee injury that troubled him earlier in the week.
Three players will make their debut – Ryan Moon of Kaizer Chiefs, U20 international Teboho Mokoena, as well as Sibusiso Khumalo, a late replacement for Lehlogonolo Masalesa who was withdrawn from the squad as he was not eligible to play.
Norodien and Cole Alexander complete the midfield while goals wills be expected from Gift Motupa, who last featured for Bafana Bafana in September last year. He is the second-highest capped player with seven appearances to his name.
South Africa and Botswana clash on Saturday, 15 July 2017 at the Francistown Stadium in Botswana. Kickoff is at 15h30.
This is the second match in ten days between the two nations.
South Africa has kept an unbeaten record against Botswana spanning over 11 matches – seven wins and four draws.
The first meeting was a friendly clash in Gaborone 24 years go – this was soon after Bafana Bafana were readmitted to the international fold – South Africa won 2-0.
This is how they line up:
Bafana Bafana XI vs Botswana CHAN: Boalefa Pule (GK), Siyabonga Nhlapo, Tercious Malepe, Mario Booysen (C), Mothobi Mvala, Riyaad Norodien, Teboho Mokoena, Sibusiso Khumalo, Cole Alexander, Ryan Moon, Gift Motupa.
Subs: Steven Hoffman (GK), Sipho Mbule, Sphelele Ntshangase, Jamie Webber, Sandile Mthethwa, Malebogo Modise, Bonginkosi Ntuli.