Five Bafana players to look out for in World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria, Zimbabwe

FILE - Bafana Bafana players in action during a training session. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

FILE - Bafana Bafana players in action during a training session. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 5, 2024


By Mthobisi Nozulela

Bafana Bafana will be looking to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track when they lock horns with the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Friday.

The last time Bafana played in the qualifiers, they suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Rwanda and slipped to second place in their qualifying group.

Head coach Hugo Broos will be hoping his side walk away with all three points on Friday to improve their chances of making it to the global showpiece in 2026.

IOL Sport’s Mthobisi Nozulela takes a look at the five players who could prove to be the difference for South Africa, as they look to get one over the West African side that features some of the biggest names in world football.

Teboho Mokoena

The Mamelodi Sundowns man has been a key figure for Bafana for several years now and was one of the best players at the African Cup of Nations that was held in Cote d'ivoire earlier this year.

The 27-year-old was also crucial in Mamelodi Sundown's successful quest for a 13th league title in the recently completed DStv Premiership season.

Ronwen Williams

Arguably the best goalkeeper in the African continent, Williams could prove to be the difference for Bafana. The tall goalkeeper was crucial for Hugo Broos' charges as they reached the semi-finals at the AFCON.

With the game against Nigeria far too important to lose, there is no doubt that Williams will once again look to rise to the occasion once more.

Sphephelo Sithole

The 25-year-old will once again be crucial in midfield alongside Mokoena. Sithole's superb game-reading ability and strong physical presence make him one of the most important players for Bafana Bafana.

He will be expected to break up Nigeria's attacks while protecting the defence.

Themba Zwane

The evergreen Zwane will no doubt be one of the important players for Bafana. His vision and control on the pitch make him stand out from the rest.

His experience will also be key for Bafana, he is a man that has seen and done it all.

Mothobi Mvala

Mvala has been part of the Bafana set-up for some time now and is familiar with how coach Hugo Broos plays. And with his partner in crime Grant Kekana missing from the side due to injury, Mvala will have the added responsibility of ensuring that there is cohesion at the back with whomever he plays with.

IOL Sport