a silver lining

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Bafana Bafana were boosted yesterday by the return of two influential players, Teko Modise and Itumeleng Khune, for Saturday's must-win game against Equatorial Guinea.

The two were assessed by the medical team, led by Ephraim Nematswerani of Moroka Swallows.

Khune was dropped from the team on the eve of their opening 2010 World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday, after the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper suffered an asthma attack.

For the record, Bafana Bafana went down 2-0 to the Super Eagles in a game in which the South Africans should thank their gods for not conceding more goals.

Modise, the Orlando Pirates linkman, was withdrawn from the team prior to Bafana Bafana's departure to Nigeria due to a recurring toe injury.

Also back in the team is Lerato Chabangu, who, like Modise, was withdrawn on medical grounds.

Nematswerani will submit a report today on any injuries in the team.

"We are having the same team that we had on Thursday for the game against Nigeria," said Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana manager.

Hopefully, the return of the trio will bring the much needed difference to Bafana Bafana after they put on a depressing performance against Nigeria.

This has put coach Joel Santana under pressure to win against Equatorial Guinea or move a step closer to seeing his dream of coaching in the World Cup being shattered.

The below-par performance by Bafana Bafana has angered many South Africans, who are concerned about the team qualifying for the Afcon finals in Angola.

This was after Equatorial Guinea started their campaign on a high note by beating Sierra Leone 2-0 in Malabo.

After reporting for national duty yesterday morning, Bafana Bafana went to a gymnasium in Hatfield, Pretoria, in the afternoon.

"It will be more about gym and ball work this week, the technical staff will also work on different playing methods to help us hammer Equatorial Guinea," said Nkumane.

The former Vaal Professionals administrator also announced that the return match against Sierra Leone will also take place at Super Stadium on June 21.

Bafana Bafana play Sierra Leone away first in Freetown on June 14.

Asked if Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane was not considered so that other cities could benefit economically, Nkumane said: "We did, but it was too late to inspect."