In-form Al Ahly striker Percy Tau has been called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for South Africa’s final Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Morocco next weekend. Both teams have already qualified from group K with Morocco unbeaten from two, while Bafana are second in the group with a win and a draw from their three matches. Coach Hugo Broos’ charges face Morocco at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg next weekend.
With both teams having already qualified for AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire next year, many would consider this outing something of a dead rubber. But Broos called up his best available footballers as the South Africans host a Morocco side that finished fourth at last year’s Football World Cup in Qatar.
“We will do our best and more than our best to win that game. But again, if we do not win, we would have played against the third best side in the world. So we have to put in a good performance that everybody needs to be happy with. We need to make sure that people are happy with our performance and say, okay they lost the game against a very good opponent but we put in a very good performance and that in preparation for a very important tournament in six months in the Ivory Coast, we have to be ready for that,” says Broos.
A provisional 34-member group has been in camp which ended on Wednesday and that has been whittled down to 23 for the match against Morocco.
“The goalkeepers are Ronwen Williams, Veli Mothwa and Ricardo Goss. The defenders are Sydney Mobbie, Siyanda Xulu, Innocent Maela, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thapelo Morena, Aubrey Modiba, Grant Kekana, Mothobi Mvala. Midfielders: are Luke le Roux, Njabulo Blom, Teboho Mokoena, Bathusi Aubaas and the strikers are Monnapule Saleng, Themba Zwane, Thapelo Maseko, Cassius Mailula, Mihlali Mayambela, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Percy Tau, Zakhele Lepasa,” Broos said.
South Africa host Morocco, who come into this game on the back of their historical performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where they became the first ever African side to reach the semi-finals.
“We want to do something against Morocco. I think the last six games were good for us, had very good games. We had good results; maybe except the draw against Liberia here in Joburg but all the rest I was very happy with the performance. So, it is still up to us, one year later against the same opponents it is up to us to show that we have made progress.”
Meanwhile, SAFA has urged fans to come out in their numbers to support the national team against Morocco. Tickets for the match went on sale last week, with prices as low as R20 for the match which kicks off at 5pm next Saturday.