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Khanye – Why I’d Pick Rayners Over Mabasa

Former Kaizer Chiefs winger Junior Khanye has explained why he’d pick Iqraam Rayners over Tshegofatso Mabasa for Bafana Bafana, admitting the Stellenbosch FC even proved himself wrong.  

Rayners was part of Bafana’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers squad against Nigeria and Zimbabwe, scoring in their convincing 3-1 victory over the Warriors in Bloemfontein on Tuesday evening. After this round of qualifiers, Bafana are second in Group C tied on seven points with leaders Rwanda and Benin in third.

Rayners enjoyed a brilliant season with the Maroons who finished third to qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup, having clinched the Carling Knockout Cup earlier on in the season.

The 28-year-old narrowly missed out on the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot honour with 15 goals, one behind Orlando Pirates counterpart Mabasa.

Khanye says he had questions when Hugo Broos picked Rayners ahead of Mabasa for the qualifiers, but concedes to have been silenced by the striker’s performances in the last two matches.

“In the Nigeria game the guy did very well in terms of keeping them busy,” Khanye said on IDiski TV.

“But I have a problem with his decision-making, but he did very well because he stretched their defense. He’s not static.

“In today’s game he scored one so I’ll give him credit even on that because he got one goal in two games. He must be left in the team. I mean don’t fix it if it’s not broken.

“He’s got a strong character as well and that’s important. If you want me to choose between him and Mabasa, I’ll take Rayners because he had two games, he worked very hard in the first game and scored in this game.

“I’ll be honest, when the coach picked Rayners, I had question marks but seeing him now, I just have to compliment him. He’s not stylish on the ball and stuff and he’s relaxed, he never showed any fear, so I choose him and compliments to Bafana Bafana.”

You can view Khanye’s full comments on Bafana-Bafana in the World Cup qualifiers on IDiski TV official YouTube channel.

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.