Bafana Bafana star Erasmus back from injury for Sao Tome e Principe clash

The Mamelodi Sundowns man is back and boosts the attacking options for national team coach Molefi Ntseki

South Africa forward Kermit Erasmus is available for selection for Monday’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after recovering from a “minor injury”.

The 30-year-old was a last-minute withdrawal from the playing squad which beat Sao Tome 2-0 at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.

After he was injured in training on Thursday, Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki was left with limited options upfront, where he started Percy Tau and Lebogang Manyama.

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South Africa Football Association (Safa) spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi confirmed that Erasmus trained on Saturday and is in contention to start on Monday.

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“Kermit Erasmus trained with the rest of the team upon arrival in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and seems to have shrugged off the minor injury he sustained,” Chimhavi told Goal.

“Every other player took part in Saturday’s regeneration exercise. All 24 players should be available for selection barring last-minute injuries.”

Erasmus’ return comes as good news for Ntseki, who endured a difficult time in training which saw five players pull out due to injuries, while two tested positive for coronavirus.

The withdrawals included SuperSport United forward Bradley Grobler, a development which further depleted Ntseki’s attacking options.

This saw South Africa struggle to break Sao Tome down, especially in the first half and needed a 55th-minute Tau penalty for their opening goal, while a last-minute headed effort by substitute Bongani Zungu doubled their advantage.

Ntseki is hoping to put behind the unconvincing display in Durban for a better showing on Monday.

The availability of Erasmus could see Manyama being sacrificed for the Port Elizabeth contest.

South Africa remain second in Group C with six points, behind leaders Ghana, who continued with their 100 percent record after dismissing third-placed Sudan at home on Thursday.

Ghana travel to Sudan for the reverse fixture on Tuesday as they seek to maintain top spot.

Sao Tome anchor the standings with zero points following three defeats and Ntseki’s men would not want the grim record of their opponents claiming their first points of the campaign from his side.

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