Percy Tau‚ Lebo Mothiba and Bongani Zungu return for Bafana Bafana

05 November 2019 - 11:17
By Nick Said
Bongani Zungu is of the key figures in Molefi Ntseki's Bafana Bafana squad.
Image: Gallo Images Bongani Zungu is of the key figures in Molefi Ntseki's Bafana Bafana squad.

The trio of top stars who missed Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 friendly win over Mali are all now back in action‚ providing a significant boost for coach Molefi Ntseki ahead of the start of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan this month.

Percy Tau and Lebo Mothiba were both suffering from fatigue‚ according to their respective club coaches‚ but have continued to feature prominently over the last week.

But perhaps most pleasing for Ntseki will be the return to the pitch of Bongani Zungu‚ who had missed the Mali match with a deep gash that meant he spent almost four weeks on the sidelines.

A fit Zungu is a major weapon for Ntseki and he was one of the standout performers at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt when he helped the side to the quarterfinals.

His spell on the sidelines was a real worry‚ but he returned to play 90 minutes for Amiens in a French Cup victory over Angers last week‚ and then came on as a late sub in a Ligue 1 success over Brest.

Zungu is much admired at Amiens‚ but constant injury problems mean he has battled to have a run of games in the last 12 months and he will hope to put that worry behind him for club and country.

Mothiba has also been in and out of the Strasbourg side in Ligue 1 this season‚ with his coach Thierry Laurey admitting he has taken a while to get back to his best.

"He came back washed out after the Afcon‚” Laurey told reporters.

“But he is performing again. For players to perform well‚ they must be played in their best position. He has worked hard and has returned to a good level.”

Tau is likely to line up for Club Brugge against Paris St Germain in the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday as he continues to mix between a start and the bench as his freshness is managed.

He was again used off the bench at the weekend‚ which suggests he will start against PSG.

All three players will likely be key for Ntseki against Ghana especially as Bafana seek to come away from their test with the Black Stars with a positive result.

The worst case scenario for him going into that game would be for them sitting on the sidelines for their clubs‚ but with injury and fatigue problems seemingly behind them‚ that should not be the case.