Broos names his 23-man squad for back-to-back World Cup qualifiers

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Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has named his final 23-man squad for next month’s back-to-back 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Notable inclusions in the squad are exciting Orlando Pirates forward, Relebohile Mofokeng, Romanian-based defender, Siyabonga Ngezana and Burnley forward Lyle Foster.

Bafana Bafana will play Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Uyo on Friday the 7th of June, before hosting Zimbabwe at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein four days later.

Sekhukhune United’s Elias Mokwana, Pirates’ Patrick Maswanganyi and the Stellenbosch FC duo of Iqraam Rayners and Jayden Adams have also been included in the squad. This after they impressed when Bafana Bafana played the FIFA series matches against Andorra and Algeria in the North African country in March.

Talisman, Percy Tau, makes a return to the squad after he was excluded from the FIFA series in Algeria. Lyle Foster also returns to the squad. He wasn’t part of the Bafana Bafana squad for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast earlier this year due to mental health issues.

“He always played every game for Burnley, so it wasn’t easy to accept that but now everything is okay I phoned him, and we had a good chat so there are no problems anymore and that’s why he is now with us,” says Broos.

Another player included in the squad is Sundowns’ Bathusi Aubaas with exciting Pirates forward, Relebohile Mofokeng finally making the team after a stellar season. Broos says Mofokeng deserves to be in the squad as he’s been impressive throughout the season.

“You know with young players you always have to be a little bit careful from the first moment he played with Pirates everybody saw that’s the guy with quality. He’s been consistent and he has something that I can’t explain,” adds Broos.

The South Africans will have their work cut out against a star-studded Nigeria that includes the likes of Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi, but striker, Victor Osimhen of Napoli, will miss the match due to injury. Broos believes Bafana can beat the Super Eagles, provided they play to their full potential.

“Why not have the confidence that we can beat Nigeria even in their own country we can do it if we play at the high level like at the Afcon but honestly a draw against Nigeria and a win against Zimbabwe I would be a happy coach,” the coach further explains.

The Bafana Bafana squad will assemble on Sunday before traveling to Nigeria on Wednesday with a chartered flight.

The coach is hoping for an injury-free squad and will keep a close eye on Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in Mbombela.