South Africa coach Molefi Ntseki will be counting on attacker Percy Tau and his strike partner Lebo Mothiba to help Bafana Bafana defeat Ghana in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Thursday night.
The Black Stars host Bafana Bafana in the Group C match at Cape Coast Stadium as the qualifying stage for the tournament to be held in Cameroon gets underway.
The two Europe-based players missed Bafana’s friendly against Mali in Port Elizabeth last month due to injuries which sparked fears that they could miss the crucial clash with the Black Stars.
Tau’s team, which tops the log in the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium, were defeated 2-1 by seventh placed Antwerp on Sunday with the South African star in action.
Mothiba scored two goals on Saturday when his French top-flight side RC Strasbourg defeated struggling Nimes 4-1 at Stade de la Meinau.
Ntseki is hoping both players, who missed Bafana’s friendly against Mali in Port Elizabeth last month due to injuries, will be fully fit and ready to face Ghana on Thursday.
“We’re hoping that both players will be ready to compete and, hopefully, take their game to the next level,” said Ntseki of the duo’s availability for the two qualifiers.
“I think with Tau not being played in his club’s last match, it’s something that I was worried about. But I know when it comes to the national team, Tau will work hard to make things happen for us.”
Ghana and South Africa met in June part of preparations for this year's Afcon, with the game ending 0-0 in the United Arab Emirates.
The last official match between the two sides was the qualifying campaign was for the 2006 Fifa World Cup where the Black Stars emerged top of the group.
Ghana recorded back-to-back wins over Bafana Bafana to qualify for their maiden World Cup appearance.
However Bafana Bafana have seen some revival for the past two years culminating in some good showing at the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt.