khumalo gets nod

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Rising central defender Bongani Khumalo looks set to earn his third Bafana Bafana cap when they take on Sierra Leone in Freetown on Saturday.

This was after Bevan Fransman was advised to rest for seven days after suffering his third concussion in 12 months.

Fransman was one of the two Bafana Bafana defenders who were injured when they hammered Equatorial Guinea 4-1 at the Super Stadium on Saturday.

The other defender is Aaron Mokoena, who is expected back at training today after he was kicked on the left shin.

SuperSport United's Khumalo, who was born in Swaziland, but raised in South Africa, came on for Fransman during their 2010 World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations clash.

The South Africans take on the winless Leone Stars, who are captained by Mohammed Kallon, on Saturday.

Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana manager, said: "Everything is fine, all the players are coming on board to Freetown. We need the best possible team to win here.

"All the other players who are being treated for minor knocks by the medical personnel will also be travelling with the team on a charter."

Nkumane arrived in Freetown on Monday night via Gambia. He said so far he was happy with arrangements for the game.

Tsepo Masilela, who had a great game against Equatorial Guinea, trained with the rest of the team yesterday despite nursing a mild bout of flu.

Though he is not in the Freetown-bound team, Benson Mhlongo is also under observation by doctor Ephraim Nematswerani and physiotherapist Eric Ralinala.

Bafana Bafana will have one training session today at 9.30am at Pilditch Stadium before leaving for Freetown at 7.30pm.

Nkumane said: "It will be a tough one. Sierra Leone need a win at all costs after losing their opening two qualifiers to Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria.

"Their main player is Mohammed Kallon."

Nkumane added that Bafana Bafana will host Sierra Leone during their return qualifying match at the Super Stadium on June 21.

The popular Kallon, born on October 6 1979, made his senior international debut at the age of 15 in 1995 against Congo in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

According to Wikipedia, Kallon was also the youngest player at the 1996 Afcon tournament in South Africa where he scored in their 2-1 win over Burkina Faso.