Bafana Bafana talisman Percy Tau. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Bafana Bafana talisman Percy Tau. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

5 Bafana Bafana players who can make an impact against Zimbabwe

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Sep 2, 2021

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Bafana Bafana take on Zimbabwe in their opening Fifa World Cup qualifier on Friday in Harare.

IOL Sport's Zaahier Adams picks out five players who could have an impact on the game.

1. Percy Tau

The "Lion of Judah" will want to put in a good shift to silence all the noise related to his transfer from English Premiership outfit Brighton Hove and Albion to Egyptian giants Al Ahly. Many have considered it a regression in Tau's career, but as he has stated he just wants more game time and he now has the opportunity to shine for Bafana. Tau's performances throughout this Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign will be crucial to Bafana's chances of boarding the plane to Qatar next year.

2. Ronwen Williams

The newly-appointed Bafana Bafana skipper has plenty of responsibility on his shoulders. Not only must he ensure his performances are top notch to keep the goals out of the South African net, but he must guide a youthful outfit put together by new coach Hugo Broos. Williams has the recent leadership experience of captaining the SA U-23 team at the Tokyo Olympics, but received plenty of criticism on social media for the team's disappointing campaign. He will look to put that behind him and prove that he is the undisputed No 1 in the country.

Bafana Bafana captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

3. Siyanda Xulu

The Israeli-based central defender is one of the most experienced members of the Bafana squad, having played in Russia before and for both Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs. However, it was his during his time at Maritzburg United prior to leaving for Hapoel Tel Aviv that he played alongside the impressive Rushine De Reuck, who has since moved on to Sundowns. Xulu will no doubt look to rekindle that understanding in the heart of the Bafana defence to provide the national team with a stable base.

4. Ethan Brooks

It will be interesting to see whether Broos is bold enough to start with the 20-year-old from TS Galaxy. However, should Brooks get the nod there is no doubt that the defensive midfielder will look to stamp his authority on the game early on - just like he did at the recent Cosafa Cup where he was one of the stars of the championship-winning team. He certainly won't be overawed by the occasion with former Bafana striker Sean Bartlett saying about the youngster: "Ethan has a good head on his shoulders. He is very steady in his approach, off the field too and in life in general, and that counts for a lot."

Ethan Brooks and Rushine de Reuck list the 2021 COSAFA Cup. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

5. Luther Singh

Despite having made his Bafana debut back in 2017 already, Singh is still only 24 years old. However, he has yet to fulfill the early promise he showed and hopefully Broos is able to unlock the potential and confidence that took a heavy knock after Singh missed a penalty in the Cosafa Cup back in 2018. He remains one of South Africa's most talented footballers and hopefully after a couple of loan spells in Portugal he will be able to recapture some of his firm now that he has permanently moved to FC Copenhagen in Denmark during the transfer period.


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