Bafana Bafana

Bafana boss Broos includes fresh faces in squad for Afcon qualifier against Morocco

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Hugo Broos (Gallo Images)
Hugo Broos (Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has selected a 23-man squad for their opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Group K opponents Morocco.

The fixture will take place on Thursday, 9 June at the Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex, in Morocco's capital city Rabat.

Kickoff is at 21:00 (SA time).

The Belgian stuck with his tried and tested goalkeeping trio of Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu) and Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs).

Khuliso Mudau, Grant Kekana and Lyle Lakay were the only players chosen from DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

However, the coach also switched up his selection as he included Cape Town City duo Taarig Fielies and Khanyisa Mayo, while Spephele Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal) and Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs) also made the cut.

The squad will assemble early next as they now have two weeks to prepare for the qualifier. 

Bafana Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs).

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Khuliso Mudau, Grant Kekana, Lyle Lakay, (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Bandile Shandu, Innocent Maela (both Orlando Pirates), Thibang Phete (Belenenses, Portugal), Taariq Fielies, Terrence Mashego (both Cape Town City).

Midfielders: Spephele Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Yusuf Maart (Sekhukhune), Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs).

Strikers: Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids, Egypt), Lyle Foster (Westerlo, Belgium), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota FC, USA), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt).

Bafana Bafana were expected to face Zimbabwe in the second qualifier, but the Warriors will now play no part in the qualifiers for the continental showpiece.

FIFA suspended both Zimbabwe and Kenya (Group C) due to political interference in the running of their football, with African football body CAF upholding the ban.

Bafana, who are 1996 Afcon champions, now have a greater chance at ensuring their participation at next year's finals in Ivory Coast after missing out on the delayed 2021 tournament earlier this year.

South Africa, Liberia and Morocco will compete in Group K for qualification and both the winner and runner-up after home and away fixtures will make the cut for Afcon 2023.

Qualifying groups:

Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome

Group B: Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini, Burkina Faso

Group C: Namibia, Burundi, Cameroon

Group D: Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea, Egypt

Group E: Angola, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Ghana

Group F: Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Algeria

Group G: The Gambia, Congo, South Sudan, Mali

Group H: Lesotho, Comoros, Zambia, Ivory Coast

Group I: Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan, DR Congo

Group J: Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Tunisia

Group K: Liberia, South Africa, Morocco

Group L: Mozambique, Rwanda, Benin, Senegal

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