Rovers’ two South African internationals Bongani Khumalo and Dean Furman have travelled to face Botswana in Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Khumalo featured in Rovers defeat against Bournemouth whilst Furman was an unused sub with the pair travelling back to their home country on Sunday.
Former Bafana Bafana captain Khumalo has not featured in the squad since the African Nations Cup in January but coach Gordon Inesund has been impressed with his performances since joining Rovers, so has recalled him for this huge game in the quest to reach Brazil 2014.
South Africa will be looking to bounce back after their last World Cup qualifier ended in a 2-1 defeat in Ethiopia and with two matches remaining, Sewnet Bishaw's Ethiopian side are leading the group by two points knowing a victory would give them an unassailable five point lead, while a draw or a South African win would ensure that the final placing’s in the group will only be decided on the last matchday.
Both teams go into their match buoyed by victories achieved last weekend. Getaneh Kedebe and Salahdin Ahmed scored for Ethiopia as they won 2-1 in Botswana, while South Africa trounced Central African Republic 3-0 in neutral Cameroon.
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund, who took over the side after they had drawn their two opening matches and has since taken them to back-to-back wins against Central African Republic, said that he was happy the team controlled their own fate again. "We can do it ourselves, we do not need to hope for results from another match. It is also in our favour that it is direct goal difference rather than head-to-head results."
Bongani Khumalo “It’s a great honour to play for your country especially in front of you home fans. I played and scored in the last World Cup finals, so I really want to play again at that level. This is a important game for us, which we have to win“
South Africa vs Botswana Saturday 7th 15.30 (SA Time)