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Mphela to take South Africa’s goalscoring mantle from McCarthy

| 01.06.2010

Carlos Alberto Parreira has made his boldest decision yet as South Africa coach by dropping Benni McCarthy from the hosts’ final World Cup squad.

McCarthy, who is South Africa’s all-time leading scorer with 35 international goals to his name, has been struggling with his fitness of late, though his omission is still a shock.

The West Ham striker has faced accusations of being overweight, and during South Africa’s friendly win over Colombia, a fan was seen waving a banner which read ‘Benni Ate My Lunch’.

Fortunately for South Africa, however, they have a ready-made replacement in the form of Katlego Mphela, who has been in lethal form recently.

Mphela has scored five goals in his last five internationals, and the forward is convincingly priced at 5/2 to finish the tournament as South Africa’s top scorer.

Surprisingly, Parreira has only chosen three strikers in his party of 23, with Mphela, Bernard Parker or Siyabonga Nomvete expected to start as a lone forward in a 4-5-1 formation.

Other notable inclusions in the squad are the wonderfully-named midfielders Surprise Moriri and MacBeth Sibaya, while Everton’s Steven Pienaar and Fulham’s Kagisho Dikgacoi have also been included.

Aaron Mokoena will captain the side, and the Portsmouth defender became the first South African to win 100 caps when he led Bafana Bafana to their 5-0 thumping of Guatemala on Monday.

The win extends South Africa’s unbeaten run to 11 games, and the hosts’ fine form should see them beat Mexico – which is good value at 7/4 – in the tournament’s opening match.

Who do you think will be South Africa’s top scorer? Steven Pienaar is 10/1 to outscore his team-mates. See the full South Africa Specials market.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.