Bafana Bafana: Lebusa edges closer to first cap in four years_1

Almost four years to the day, Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mosa Lebusa made his last Bafana appearance, but could be set to add to his two caps against Mali on Sunday.

Then playing for Ajax Cape Town, Lebusa started at left-back and had a 59-minute run in 1-0 victory away to Costa Rica.

Having been recalled to the national setup, he is one of the front-runners for a starting berth at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, aided by consistent form, as well as a bit of an injury crisis that has hit the camp over the past week.

Injuries pave way for Mosa Lebusa

Bafana lost Cape Town City defender, Thamsanqa Mkhize, who has been replaced by Bloemfontein Celtic's Tshepo Rikhotso, while Erick Mathoho spent the week leading up to the game under an injury cloud.

Depending on the latter's fitness, Lebusa's path to the starting XI is only blocked by the Bidvest Wits pair of captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi, who have been the mainstay at the centre of defence for the past two years.

This makes him almost a sure bet for a spot on the bench, and his club coach Pitso Mosimane believes he has the wares to push for a starting place.

"I have said it a long time with Lebusa, I think three or four months back, that he is as good as Buhle Mkhwanazi," said Mosimane.
"He is left-footed, it gives proper balance. And Mosa scores. I think this year already he has scored two or three goals. So it's good for him to get a chance and opportunity to compete. He is naturally left-footed and he passes the ball well.
"He makes fewer mistakes, he is a fighter and scores goals. So I am happy for that. He should now show he deserves to be there."Pitso Mosimane

Lebosa has made six league appearances for Sundowns, where he has played all 90 minutes in each.

In all competitions, he has bagged two goals, both against Celtic – in the league and MTN8 respectively.

The last of Lebusa's national caps came in a one-all draw against Honduras on 14 October 2015.

South Africa's match against Mali kicks off atat 15:00 on Sunday.