New Bafana strikers must repay Hugo Broos’ faith against Algeria

Khanyisa Mayo will hope to get another chance for Bafana against Algeria after he was unable to score against Andorra. Photo: BackpagePix

Khanyisa Mayo will hope to get another chance for Bafana against Algeria after he was unable to score against Andorra. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Mar 25, 2024


Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is expected to have a throbbing headache surrounding his attacking line as his side prepare to test themselves against Algeria tomorrow.

Broos will lead his team against a rebuilding Desert Foxes at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria (11pm kick-off, SA time), and will look to hand out numerous opportunities once more as Bafana aim to build on their Africa Cup of Nations success.

The Belgian recently affirmed his commitment to the South African cause as the so-called big hitters in the continent came calling for his signature.

His confidence in the work he has done in the rejuvenation of Bafana, which saw them finish third at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, has given him the impetus to embed prospects in this thriving group.

Broos reiterated this stance by taking a fairly new-look attacking unit to the Fifa Series matches against Andorra and their next opponents Algeria.

The frequently overlooked duo of Cape Town City’s Khanyisa Mayo and Stellenbosch leading man Iqraam Rayners are being granted chances to not only impress Broos, but prove why their names have been aired by football supporters around the country.

Broos has not hidden his admiration for what many may call “old-fashioned number nines” like France-based Lebo Mothiba, Orlando Pirates duo Evidence Makgopa and Zakhele Lepasa, as well as Burnley’s Lyle Foster.

However, the absence of Mothiba due to injury, as well as Foster because of mental illness issues, means Bafana’s technical team have had to beef up their striking department with Mayo and Rayners.

Speaking ahead of the trip to north Africa, Broos revealed that he had not shut out the possibility of Foster returning to his plans after what has been a tumultuous six-month period for the 23-year-old England-based striker.

Foster has scored four goals in 11 appearances since Broos took over in 2021, the most memorable away at Morocco in the Afcon qualifiers.

“Foster played 10 minutes for Burnley this past Saturday, which means his injury problems are over. I will try to have contact with Vincent Kompany next week. Maybe when I am in Europe, I can go and see a game, talk to Kompany and Foster, and see what we can expect from him. This is for the World Cup qualifier games in June,” Broos told the media.

Mayo, who’s second on the DStv Premiership goalscorers’ list, got the nod in the 1-1 draw against Andorra on Thursday, but looked far from convincing, with several factors influencing his display, among them an unstable team performance.

— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) March 23, 2024

It will be interesting to see whether he receives preference once again against Algeria in what is expected to be a beefed-up Bafana.

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Themba Zwane, Polokwane City’s Oswin Appollis and Cyprus-based Mihlali Mayambela are the only three attackers to get call-ups from Bafana’s Afcon squad.

Broos demonstrated his ability to tactically adjust his side to hurt opposition teams and accommodate his players’ strengths during his time in the Bafana hot seat, and will be expected to do something similar, with Mayo and Rayners the only recognised centre forwards available.

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