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05.06.2005 Football News

Benni McCarthy out of Ghana match

By News24

Praia, Cape Verde - Bafana Bafana will be without the services of Benni McCarthy when South Africa play Ghana in a Soccer World Cup qualifying round match.

McCarthy was the hero of the hour when he scored Bafana's first goal against Cape Verde Islands on Saturday, but the Algerian referee, Mohamed Benouza, showed him a yellow card in the 74th minute for handling the ball.

McCarthy was penalised in the match against Uganda last year and because he now has two yellow cards, he has been suspended for one match and will not play against Ghana in Johannesburg on June 18.

Bafana Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter, says it is a setback, but he will find a replacement who will be able to do the work for the team.

"Suspensions and injuries form part of the game. I had to do without the services of five of my regular players in the away match on Saturday, but despite this, my team brought home all the points on offer," Baxter said, adding that he has made progress with his arrangements for the match against Ghana.

"I have already compiled my team and Shaun Bartlett and Quinton Fortune will make their return. I do not know yet if Sibusiso Zuma and Bradley Carnell have recovered from their injuries, but will get clarity this week," the coach said.

While everything did not go exactly according to plan in training for the match against the Cape Verde Islands, Baxter hopes that he will have a slightly longer camp to prepare the players for the Ghana match.

Baxter said: "On Saturday next week a benefit will be played for Lucas Radebe and several players have been invited to take part. Many Bafana players will also be there and I hope to be able to get them for the training week.

"We still have three matches remaining in the SWC qualifying rounds and we will approach each one like a final.

"The match against Ghana is no exception. We want to be ready, because the players want to take revenge. Last time when we played in Kumasi we were beaten 3-0.