Chance for Maswanganyi, Kekana to star for Bafana

Ronwen Williams of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

Ronwen Williams of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 19, 2024


There are at least five players who need to confirm their roles as key players for Bafana Bafana, who will play two international friendlies in Algeria, starting on Thursday, writes Herman Gibbs.

Ronwen Williams of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

Ronwen Williams

The Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper has established himself as the best in Africa. Hence, he was a worthy recipient of the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 ‘Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ award.

Williams made four saves in a penalty shoot-out as Bafana Bafana beat Cape Verde 2-1 on penalties to reach the semi-finals. He is the rock around which Broos has built the team, and consequently he was handed the captaincy.

Williams will likely enjoy limited time between the sticks in Algeria because Broos would like to expose other squad goalies Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs) and Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United) to international opposition.

Teboho Mokoena of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

Teboho Mokoena

The mercurial Sundowns midfielder is far and away Bafana’s best in-field player.

He produced amazing performances at Afcon and was one of the standout performers when Bafana ended their 24-year drought by securing bronze in Ivory Coast. His performance has attracted attention far and wide, with the latest reports linking him with a potential move to Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.

He has developed into a potent free-kick specialist. He scored a brilliant free kick to help send his side through to the quarter-finals of Afcon as South Africa edged past Morocco, Africa’s highest world-ranked team.

Mokoena can be a nightmare for opposition goalkeepers with his long-range scoring efforts.

Aubrey Modiba of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

Aubrey Modiba

Sundowns defender Modiba has been a star performer for Bafana in his new inverted full-back role this season.

After Afcon Modiba had made such an impression that he enjoyed interest from across the continent, particularly from Tanzanian giants Simba SC. He offers plenty going forward and has an eye for a pass, often bypassing the opposition midfield, and this allows the front runners to run hard at the opposition defence.

However, he must guard against exposing the defence down his channel when he sets off on counter-attacks.

Patrick Maswanganyi of Orlando Pirates. | BackpagePix

Patrick Maswanganyi

Midfielder Patrick Maswanganyi, still uncapped for Bafana Bafana, has already won the admiration of Broos.

After his Soweto derby performance for Orlando Pirates, he has enjoyed great European interest. Broos says Maswanganyi has what it takes to be Themba Zwane’s replacement in the long run and that is high praise indeed.

His club coach Jose Riveiro believes that Maswanganyi’s best form is still to come. Broos will likely give him a chance to consolidate his place in the squad while playing in Algeria.

Grant Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns. | BackpagePix

Grant Kekana

The Sundowns central defender went from strength to strength in Ivory Coast, where initially he was regarded as a fringe player. He has formed an outstanding partnership with fellow central defender Mothobi Mvala and is now a key player in the national squad.

Broos will allow him to hold down a place in the starting XI because it will grow his confidence. He is one of Broos’ Bafana defensive pillars who could potentially win him games.

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