It’s been two years since Lebogang Manyama last played for Bafana Bafana and ironically he was part of the opening game of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament against Nigeria in Uyo.
He’s back again and this time around it’s the AFCON 2021 qualifying opener against another West African superpower, Ghana.
The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder has had a great start to the new season with his club, three goals plus an assist from 10 matches in all competitions has seen him being rewarded with a call-up by Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki this week.
Manyama’s last appearance for Bafana was during the 2-1 loss to Senegal away in Dakar in the final game of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Manyama made his international debut back in 2013 and will be hoping to add to his 15 caps and a goal at this level.
He was only called-up this past weekend to replace an injured Themba “Mshishi” Zwane, a very key player in the attack of this team. The former PSL Footballer of the season says mental strength is key at this level.
During the historic 2-0 win over the Super Eagles two years ago, Manyama came on as a substitute and played 25 minutes in that game. He says this squad has got players who have what it takes to deliver in a game of this magnitude.
Earlier this week Ntseki praised Manyama for being a multifunctional player under Ernst Middendorp, able to drop deep when the German tactician changes his tactical plan at Chiefs.
The former Cape Town City captain says he also watched the 2-1 win over Mali last month and feels that Bafana can build from it. – Report by Velile Mnyandu