the rise and rise of Khuboni

EYEING THE GAP: Golden Arrows and Bafana Bafana midfielder
Thanduyise Khuboni has forced his way into contention for the
World Cup. Circa May 2010. © Sabelo Mngoma
EYEING THE GAP: Golden Arrows and Bafana Bafana midfielder Thanduyise Khuboni has forced his way into contention for the World Cup. Circa May 2010. © Sabelo Mngoma

IF THANDUYISE Khuboni makes Carlos Alberto Parreira's final 23-man World Cup squad, it will be just reward for his hard work.

IF THANDUYISE Khuboni makes Carlos Alberto Parreira's final 23-man World Cup squad, it will be just reward for his hard work.

When football fans generally discuss Bafana Bafana's top players, Khuboni's name is hardly ever mentioned. Even on the field the Lamontville Golden Arrows midfielder sticks to basics. He is not a typical South African player who possesses a great deal of skill.

His is a simple job: win the ball and pass it to a well-positioned teammate to launch attacks. And he is a good passer.

Khuboni also has the ability to see openings and get himself into good scoring positions, though he has been unlucky not to get on to the score sheet.

The remarkable thing about him is that he only made his international debut in the 3-0 win over neighbours Zimbabwe in his home town of Durban in January but has been a regular face in Bafana sides since then.

He has seven caps so far, and looks to have done just about enough to make it into the final World Cup squad.

His coach at Arrows, Manqoba Mngqithi, must have been pleased on Monday night as Khuboni was voted man of the match against Bulgaria, his third for Bafana, while his teammate at Abafana Be'sthende, Siyabonga Sangweni, scored his first goal for the national team.

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