Eight call-ups for Sundowns as none of Kaizer Chiefs players make Bafana squad

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Mamelodi Sundowns sensation Cassius Mailula has cracked the nod in Hugo Broos' 23-player Bafana Bafana squad.
Mamelodi Sundowns sensation Cassius Mailula has cracked the nod in Hugo Broos' 23-player Bafana Bafana squad.
Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images


Mamelodi Sundowns sensation Cassius Mailula has cracked the nod for Hugo Broos’ 23-player Bafana Bafana squad to be on duty in the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Liberia next week.

The 21-year-old is among eight Sundowns players that the Belgian coach named to his squad during the announcement at the SABC studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, on Thursday.  

No Kaizer Chiefs player made the team, while their Soweto rivals, Orlando Pirates, was the second club with the second most representatives, with four players called up.  

Bafana will host the Liberians at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Friday before travelling to Monrovia by charter flight for the return match on March 28.

READ: Podcast | Tim Spirit: Unstoppable Sundowns | Tau roaring again | Who are Dondol Stars?

Last week, Broos named a 35-member preliminary squad for the crucial qualifiers and has now trimmed the squad down to 23.

Exciting playmaker Sphelele Mkhulise and marauding right-back Khuliso Mudau are the only two players from champions Sundowns who missed out on the final cut.

The overseas contingent includes US-based duo of Njabulo Blom and Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who play for St Louis City SC and Minnesota in the Major Soccer League, respectively, and Lyle Forster, who scored his first goal for Burnley last week in the English Championship.

READ: Bafana to use charter flight to Liberia for crucial 2023 Afcon qualifier

Luke Le Roux (Varbergs BoIS, Sweden), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Sphephelo Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), and Siyanda Xulu (Turan Tovuz, Azerbaijan) are the other overseas-based players.

Orlando Pirates striker Zakhele Lepasa, who is on loan at SuperSport United, also made the team after impressing with a brace for his club last week.

Al Ahly star forward Percy Tau will add some much-needed creativity and experience in the frontline, but his fellow Egypt-based attacker Fagrie Lakay, who turns out for Pyramids FC, missed out.

Bafana will assemble in Johannesburg on Sunday after the last round of the DStv Premiership matches before the Fifa break.  

READ: Brave but outclassed Bafana slip up against Morocco in Afcon qualifier

Bafana Bafana’s 23-player squad:

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns, captain), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Ricardo Gross (SuperSport United).

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Thapelo Morena, Aubrey Modima, Grant Kekana, Mothobi Mvala (all Sundowns), Siyanda Msani (Richards Bay), Innocent Maela, Nkosinathi Sibisi (both Orlando Pirates), Siyanda Xulu (Turan Tovuz, Azerbaijan).

Midfielders: Luke Le Roux (Varbergs BoIS, Sweden), Njabulo Blom (St Louis City, US), Sphephelo Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Teboho Mokoena (Sundowns).

Forwards: Percy Tau (Al Ahly), Lyle Forster (Burnley, England), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota, US), Monnapule Saleng (Pirates), Zakhele Lepasa (SuperSport United), Cassius Mailula (Sundowns), Themba Zwane (Sundowns).

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