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Bafana coach Hugo Broos. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX
Bafana coach Hugo Broos. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has named a 23-man squad for June’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco in Rabat.

SA open their campaign in the now three-team Group K at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on June 9.

Broos named just four midfielders — Portugal-based Sphelelo Sithole of Belenenses, Orlando Pirates’ Goodman Mosele, Yusuf Maart of Sekhukhune United and Kaizer Chiefs’ Phathutshedzo Nange — in his squad.

However, he has a number of utility players among his defenders and forwards who can also play in midfield.  

The coach has stuck with many of the young players who earned results for him as SA ran Ghana close in last year’s 2022 World Cup qualifying group stage, bowing out on the same points and goal difference as the Black Stars, but fewer goals scored.

SA received a boost to their qualifying campaign when Zimbabwe were expelled from the competition this week having failed to meet the requirements to have their suspension from football, regarding government interference in the sport, lifted by Fifa.

That leaves Morocco and SA as the favourites, and Liberia the supposed minnows in a three-team group where the top two reach the 24-team finals in Ivory Coast in June and July 2023.

Broos named 27 players in a preliminary squad on May 16.

Chiefs’ Brandon Petersen was the goalkeeper excluded from the preliminary squad.

The defenders left out were Siyabonga Ngezana (Chiefs), Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch FC), Thabani Zuke (Lamontville Golden Arrows) and Maphosa Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns).

In the midfield the players omitted were Fortune Makaringe (Orlando Pirates), Lebogang Maboe (Sundowns), Jesse Donn (SuperSport), Mduduzi Mdantsane (Cape Town City) and Thapelo Morena (Sundowns). Maart, who was not named in the initial 27, was added.

The forwards left out were Ashley du Preez (Stellenbosch), Keagan Dolly (Chiefs) and Mmodi Pule (Arrows).

Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (SuperSport), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu)

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bandile Shandu (Orlando Pirates), Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thibang Phete (Belenenses, Portugal), Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City), Terrence Mashego (Cape Town City), Lyle Lakay (Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Sphelelo Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs), Yusuf Maart (Sekhukhune United)

Strikers: Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Lyle Foster (KVC Westerlo, Belgium), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota FC, USA), Percy Tau (Al Ahly SC, Egypt)


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