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Mixed bag of results for Baxter's overseas-based contingent ahead of crucial Bafana qualifier

14 August 2017 - 12:11
Bafana Bafana are in Cape Verde for the first game on September 1‚ before they host their opponents in Durban four days later.
Bafana Bafana are in Cape Verde for the first game on September 1‚ before they host their opponents in Durban four days later.
Image: Gallo Images

With under three weeks to go until South Africa’s crucial double-header with Cape Verde Islands in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers‚ it was a decidedly mixed weekend for overseas-based players expected to form part of coach Stuart Baxter’s squad.

Bafana Bafana are in Cape Verde for the first game on September 1‚ before they host their opponents in Durban four days later.

Back-to-back victories would put Baxter’s side well on course for a place in Russia next year.

But some national team stars could go into the fixtures under-cooked‚ not least the French-based pair of Keagan Dolly and Kermit Erasmus‚ who have yet to feature for Montpellier and Stade Rennes so far this season.

Both were left out of the match-day squads for their respective teams at the weekend‚ with no explanation given.

Guingamp midfielder Lebogang Phiri featured for the last 20 minutes against Paris St Germain‚ playing in the debut match of Brazilian star Neymar.

He could not help his side slip to a 3-0 home loss though.

Thulani Serero will hope to make a recall to the Bafana squad as he now gets regular game-time at new Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem‚ who he helped to a 4-1 victory over NAC Breda on Saturday.

Baxter had left Serero out of his first squad for the African Nations Cup qualifier away in Nigeria in June‚ but said he would relook at the playmaker once he was playing again after a season of inactivity at Ajax Amsterdam.

Kamohelo Mokotjo played the full 90 minutes for English Championship side Brentford as they lost 4-3 at home to Nottingham Forest‚ while Andile Jali was removed at halftime at Belgian side KV Oostende as they lost 3-0 at home to Waasland-Beveren.

May Mahlangu continued his fine start to the season with Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest as they won 1-0 at CSMS Iași on Sunday‚ while striker Tokelo Rantie started for Turkish outfit Genclerbirligi as they started their season with a 1-1 draw at home to Karabükspor.

Dino Ndlovu continued his fine scoring form in Europe with a fourth strike in five matches this season when he netted for Azerbaijan side Qarabag in their 3-3 league win over Neftçi.

And Dutch-born forward Lars Veldwijk was on target for his new Eredivisie side Groningen as they played to a 3-3 draw with Heerenveen.

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