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Bafana coach Hugo Broos will hope to have Percy Tau available for Afcon qualifiers

FILE - Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau with head coach Hugo Broos. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau with head coach Hugo Broos. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published May 8, 2022

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Johannesburg — Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos will be hoping that the country’s top striker Percy Tau avails himself for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Morocco and Zimbabwe.

Tau was in imperious form for Al Ahly in their 4-0 CAF Champions League semifinal, first leg demolition of ES Setif in Cairo on Saturday night as he looked to have rediscovered that form which made him South Africa’s best player a few years ago.

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Back in the Red Devils’ starting line-up for the first time in a while, Tau produced a man-of-the-match performance as he not only scored a brace but helped create the other two goals too as Ahly set themselves up for a third successive appearance in the final of the continent’s premier club knockout competition.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘Lions of Judah’ Percy Tau roars for Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in ES Setif demolition

A delighted Pitso Mosimane, the coach of Ahly, heaped praise on the striker afterwards: “We need to be patient, after his gold drought he scored in an important game in the semifinal of the Champions League.”

Patience though, is not a luxury South Africa’s senior national team and its coach can afford the striker who left them in the lurch last time around – not with the ticket to next year’s AFCON at stake. And when he announces his squad for the June clashes, Broos will no doubt have sook confirmation from Tau that he will be available for the ties out in Morocco on June 9 and here at home four days later.

The former South African Footballer of the Year was the toast of the vociferous, partisan crowd at the Cairo International Stadium as he led the Red Devils to a convincing victory, Tau always lurking on the edge of the Setif box and making darting runs which the visitors’ defenders just couldn’t deal with.

He opened the scoring with a downward header 30 minutes into the match to set the ball rolling towards a comfortable victory that has essentially rendered Saturday’s second leg out in Algeria rather academic.

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In the second half, with Ahly a man to the good after midfielder Amir Karaoui was sent off, Tau upped the ante, running deep and to the wings to fetch the ball and setting up his teammates.

He was influential in helping the hosts get that comforting second goal as he ran on to a pass in the box and managed to attempt a shot which ricocheted off a defender’s outstretched leg to find Taher Mohamed who slotted home.

Later in the match, Tau played a sublime through ball from the edge of the box to find Mohamed Sherif who made no mistake making the score 3-0.

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The man whose move to Ahly was roundly criticized after he gave up a career in the highly rated English Premier League where he was not getting any game time at Brighton Albion and Hove was not finished yet. Having opened the scoring, he closed things up with the simplest of tap-ins from right inside the six-yard box to finish off a fantastic attacking move by the home side’s Luis Miquissone and Mohamed Hany.

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It was a performance reminiscent of his days at Sundowns where he used to single-handedly win matches for the Brazilians with similar goals and assists.

Now, expectations will be high that he will replicate the performance in the yellow and green of Bafana Bafana next month.

@Tshiliboy

IOL Sport

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