Broos names Tau for Bafana, says attacker will earn game time if he moves to Ahly
Hugo Broos has announced his trimmed-down 23-man final squad for Bafana Bafana’s opening two 2022 World Cup Cup qualifiers, naming Percy Tau because he said he had intelligence the Brighton player will move to Al Ahly.
Broos, appointed in May, takes charge of his first two matches against Zimbabwe in Harare on September 3 and Ghana at FNB Stadium on September 6.
The coach said, after cutting eight players from his exceptionally young and adventurous 31-man preliminary squad named last week, he has concerns about star forward Tau’s lack of game time at English Premier League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion.
Broos said he has intelligence that Tau’s reported loan move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly, coached by the player’s ex-Mamelodi Sundowns boss Pitso Mosimane, will go through in the coming days.
“He’s an important player for Bafana Bafana,” Broos said.
“If Percy will not play in the next month I have a problem. But I heard some good news. I think he will not stay at Brighton, and will go to an Egyptian team with SA coach Pitso Mosimane, Al Ahly.
“I think in the next days it will be done, and then he will have his chance to play. Then there will be a problem less.”
The eight player cut included two ruled out by injury — the defensive pair of Orlando Pirates’ Innocent Maela and Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mosa Lebusa. A third, midfielder Sphelelo Sithole of Belenenses in Portugal, has Covid-19.
The other five were Lamontville Golden Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana, Kaizer Chiefs centreback Njabulo Ngcobo, Braga midfielder Kobamelo Kodisang, AmaZulu midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe and Sundowns midfielder Sphelele Mkhulise.
Broos was asked to clarify the exclusion of Chiefs signing Ngcobo, the 2020-21 Premiership defender of the season for Swallows FC.
“Yes, but that will not say he will not be there the next time,” the coach said.
“I have 31 players, and I have to choose [who to cut].
“Sometimes you will make a choice that is tactical, sometimes it’s because you need a certain type of defender. That’s what happened with Ngcobo.
" I know he’s a good defender and he will get a chance in the coming months. Maybe there will also be other players disappointed. but this is my first choice [naming a Bafana squad], so I made a choice.
“Maybe after Ghana I will say to myself, ‘Maybe this one or this one I shouldn’t have selected’. A first [squad] choice is always a first choice. This is not the final choice, certainly not.”
Broos’ squad has combined elements of the Bafana developmental combination that won the Cosafa Cup in Gqeberha, the team that beat Uganda in a friendly at FNB Stadium in May, and the Under-24 side that took part in the Tokyo Olympics.
The midfield, in particular, where there is no room for 28-year-old Bongani Zungu and 32-year-old Themba Zwane, is young and inexperienced. However, Teboho Mokoena, Sipho Mbule, Mothobi Mvala and Yusuf Maart have potential.
Ethiopia are the fourth team in Group G. The 10 group winners progress to a final round where they will be drawn in a five home and away playoff matches, the winners of which reach the Qatar World Cup.
The World Cup in Qatar is scheduled for November 21 to December 18.
Bafana Bafana 23-man squad
Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United)
Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu)
Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)
Nyiko Mobbie (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Rushine De Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Siyanda Xulu (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel)
Njabulo Blom (Kaizer Chiefs)
Thibang Phete (Os Belenenses, Portugal)
Thabani Dube (Kaizer Chiefs)
Sibusiso Mabiliso (Kaizer Chiefs)
Sipho Mbule (Supersport United)
Teboho Mokoena (Supersport United)
Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy)
Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Yusuf Maart (Sekhukhune United)
Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Maritzburg United)
Gift Links (Aarhus GF, Denmark)
Evidence Makgopa (Baroka)
Victor Letsoala (Royal AM)
Percy Tau (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Luther Singh (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)
Thabiso Kutumela (Mamelodi Sundowns)