Assistant coach Helman Mkhalele expects a tough encounter as Bafana take on Mozambique in Cosafa Cup match

Bafana Bafana players warm up during a training camp. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ Independent Newspapers

Bafana Bafana players warm up during a training camp. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 26, 2024


Bafana Bafana’s assistant coach Helman Mkhalele is expecting a tough match as the senior national team prepares to lock horns against Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on Wednesday evening.

Mkhalele said he expects The Mambas to be highly motivated to get one over Bafana, but he believes his side stands a good chance of doing well on the day.

"We are aware of the challenge, but looking at the players we have and the work that we have done in the last couple of days, I believe we are standing a good chance of doing well, even though it’s not going to be easy,” the Bafana Bafana assistant coach said.

Mkhalele also added that Bafana will have to start the game on the front foot to walk away with the victory.

“We need maximum concentration, and make sure that we take the game to Mozambique. We have to create as many goal-scoring opportunities as possible and convert them.

“And defensively, we have to make sure that we don’t concede in the first few minutes because that would work against us.

“So, a positive early start would be our priority and making sure that each and every chance that we get, we make use of it because that will also help us to settle down very well,” said Mkhalele.

The Bafana Bafana team is without players from the ‘big three’ of Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

Media reports suggest the teams withheld their players as the tournament also falls outside the official FIFA calendar and as a result, clubs are not obliged to avail their players.

Bafana Bafana’s group A comprises of Botswana, Mozambique and Eswatini.

Bafana Bafana squad: Mlondi Mpoto, Olwethu Mzimela, Samukelo Xulu, Thabang Matuludi, Keanu Cupido, Thabo Moloisane, Rushwin Dortley, Athenkosi Mcaba, Malebogo Modise, Sirgio Kammies, Brooklyn Poggenpoel, Antonio Van Wyk, Jaden Rhodes, Ethan Brooks, Liam Bern, Devin Titus, Mfundo Thikazi, Asanele Velebayi, Tshepang Moremi, Ashley Cupido, Thabang Sibanyoni, Sinoxolo Kwayiya, Yanela Mbuthuma.

IOL Sport