Pienaar misses vital South Africa qualifier

27 September 2011 01:05

South Africa captain and Tottenham midfielder Steven Pienaar will miss a vital 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone on October 8 in north-eastern city Nelspruit due to injury.

Fellow midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi from English second-tier club Crystal Palace and left-back Tsepo Masilela from Spanish side Getafe have also been ruled out of the final-round Group G game.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Lebohang 'Cheeseboy' Mokoena was recalled by coach Pitso Mosimane Tuesday and striker Bradley Grobler, who moved from Platiunum Stars to Turkish club Gotzepe in mid-year, got a first call-up.

Surprise side Niger lead the mini-league with nine points from five matches, South Africa and Sierra Leone have eight each and defending champions Egypt are out of the running with just two.

Only group winners are guaranteed places at the 16-team finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next January and February with the best two of 10 pool runners-up also qualifying.

Although Sierra Leone are seven places below South Africa on the FIFA African rankings, they have won once, drawn twice and never conceded a goal in three previous Cup of Nations qualifiers against Bafana Bafana (The Boys).


Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Defenders: Happy Jele and Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Morgan Gould (Supersport Utd), Eric Mathoho (Bloemfontein Celtic), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse/BEL), Bongani Khumalo (Tottenham/ENG), Anele Ngcongca (Genk/BEL), Punch Masenamela (Sundowns)

Midfielders: Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa (Pirates), Hlompho Kekana and Lebohang Mokoena (Sundowns), Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Daylon Claasen (Lierse/BEL), Thanduyise Khuboni (Arrows)

Strikers: Lehlohonolo Majoro and Bernard Parker (Chiefs), Bradley Grobler (Goztepe/TUR), Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Thulani Serero (Ajax/NED)

Source: AFP