20.08.2015 15:08 h

South Africa call up hot-shot Makola

Uncapped Mpho Makola was called up by South Africa Thursday for a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Mauritania after scoring two wonder goals this week.

The 29-year-old Orlando Pirates midfielder came off the bench two days ago in a league game to demonstrate power and skill in a 4-1 triumph over Chippa United.

His first goal was an unstoppable drive from outside the box and the second a masterclass in how to curve a long-range shot past a goalkeeper.

"I am very excited," Makola told reporters after hearing he had been included in a 25-man squad for the September 5 Group M matchday 2 game in Nouakchott.

"It has always been my dream to play for Bafana Bafana (The Boys) and I am ready to make the most of this opportunity."

South Africa were surprisingly held 0-0 at home by Gambia in matchday 1 last June while Mauritania conceded a last-minute goal to lose 1-0 in Cameroon.

A surprise omission was Pirates winger Thabo Rakhale, the South African footballer of the moment who has scored two stunning CAF Confederation Cup goals recently.

Veteran Kaizer Chiefs left-back Tsepo Masilela was recalled after a two-year absence and out-of-favour Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie also got the nod.

Having announced his squad at the national football association offices in Soweto, coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba stressed the importance of scoring first in the north-west country.

"We need to score first and demoralise them because if they score first they might make it difficult for us to come back," said the coach.

Referring to South Africa being 17 places above Mauritania in the FIFA Africa rankings, Mashaba said "rankings mean little on the field of play".