Luther Singh: Ntseki’s ace up the sleeve

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The Stars of Africa graduate Luther Singh has been on the rise since making his first national team appearance back in 2016 at U20 level under coach Thabo Senong.

Singh recently showed his quality in Bafana Bafana colours in a recent friendly game against neighbours Namibia in Rustenburg at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

In 2015 Singh left Johannesburg-based Stars of Africa academy for Swedish second division side GAIS where he was an instant hit in his first season playing as a winger and a centre forward. In the 2015/16 season, Singh made 36 appearances for GAIS scoring 11 league goals.

Many felt that the winger should have been included in the 2016 Rio Olympics squad with such a great performance at the tender age of 18, but coach Owen Da Gama left him out of the final team before U20 coach Senong called him up to the squad for the 2016 COSAFA Cup where he finished as the tournament’s top goal scorer.

When the 2017 U20 AFCON in Zambia came, Singh continued being South Africa’s “Ace” finishing the tournament as the joint top goalscorer alongside Zambian hitman, Patson Daka.

South Africa finished the tournament in third place and progressed to the World Cup, but unfortunately got knocked out in the group stage phase of the competition with Singh failing to score.

The winger then graduated to the national team’s U23 side under coach David Notoane and was the main threat up front as they qualified for the U23 AFCON in Egypt in emphatic fashion with Singh scoring four goals in the qualification phase while assisting more than three goals.

At the U23 AFCON in Egypt, Singh scored South Africa’s goal against Ghana in the third/fourth place play-off final as SA went on to book a spot in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Singh has featured for Bafana in the COSAFA Cup scoring two goals in four appearances. In an official game, Singh debuted in 2017 under coach Owen Da Gama in a 0-0 draw against Angola in East London, but it is only in the recent friendly against Namibia where he scored his first senior goal in an official friendly match against Namibia.

He proved in the game against Namibia that he offers something unique in the front line as he can play anywhere upfront as well as the creative role behind strikers. Singh scored a good team goal in the game, but throughout the game, he was South Africa’s main threat in front of goal with defenders failing to deal with his pace, skill and dribbling abilities.

South Africa has struggled with quality strikers in recent years, but with the rise of the likes of France-based Lebo Mothiba, Belgium-based Percy Tau and now Singh, the national team is at a much better position.

Mothiba and Tau played together upfront for Bafana during the 2019 AFCON qualifiers and in the tournament, so many teams are aware of their abilities.

But none of the teams are aware of Singh’s deadliness and dynamism upfront. Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki can use that to his advantage and unleash the attacker against opponents in the upcoming qualifiers as Singh can change games and bring results.

RELATED STORY: Singh is a potential match winner, says Ntseki

By Prince Sobayeni

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