Cape Times

Pule one of few seniors in Bafana Cosafa squad


BAFANA Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele named a youthful squad to play in the Cosafa Cup, which kicks off next month.

Mkhalele is set to oversee the squad, with first-team coach Hugo Broos still in his homeland of Belgium as he waits to receive his second Covid-19 vaccine jab. “The objective is to win the Cosafa Cup, and that will help us with our preparatio­ns for World Cup qualifiers,” Mkhalele said.

The Cosafa Cup – a tournament utilised by southern African nations for developmen­tal purposes – kicks off on 7 July in Gqeberha. The tournament this year will also feature Senegal as a guest participan­t.

As was expected, the Bafana squad is devoid of senior players bar Orlando Pirates midfielder Vincent Pule.

Golden Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana was rewarded for his good form in the Premiershi­p last season and has been called up to the squad.

It remains to be seen if he or Kaizer Chiefs’ Bruce Bvuma will be chosen to start in the games. The Bafana attack is set to be spearheade­d by the young duo of Maritzburg United’s Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Tshegofats­o Mabasa of Pirates.

Bafana have been drawn in a group that also features Lesotho, eSwatini and Botswana.

Chiefs players have been named in the squad, though the group will have to be amended if the Soweto giants reach the Caf Champions League final.

Chiefs have a 1-0 advantage over Wydad AC going into the second leg of their semi-final tie, which will be played at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Mkhalele reiterated that there are players on standby if Chiefs do progress to the final of Africa’s premier club competitio­n.

Bafana Bafana Squad

Goalkeeper­s: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Sifiso Mlungwana (Golden Arrows) Defenders: Rushine De Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns), Denwin Farmer (Baroka), Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs), Njabulo Ngcobo (Moroka Swallows), Keenan Phillips (Supersport United), Mashweu Mphahlele (Baroka), Sifiso Ngobeni (Bloemfonte­in Celtic), Bongani Sam (Orlando Pirates) Midfielder­s: Sphelele Mkhulise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ethan Brooks (TS Galaxy), Siyethemba Sithebe (AmaZulu), Kgaogelo Sekgota (Moroka Swallows), Tiklas Thutlwa (Black Leopards), Happy Mashiane (Kaizer Chiefs), Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates), Goodman Mosele (Baroka)

Strikers: Tshegofats­o Mabasa (Orlando Pirates), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Maritzburg United)

 ?? BackpagePi­x ?? SIFISO Mlungwana has been rewarded for his form during the Premiershi­p season. | GERHARD DURAAN
BackpagePi­x SIFISO Mlungwana has been rewarded for his form during the Premiershi­p season. | GERHARD DURAAN

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