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Broos bets on strugglers

Every time Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos names his squad, each of his selections looks like a gamble, writes Michael Madyira.

It almost backfired in March when South Africa were held 2-2 at home by Liberia, a result that left the Belgian on the brink of quitting his job.

He blasted his strikers for missing a glut of chances in that match.

But Broos conveniently forgot he had picked attackers struggling for goals at their clubs and lacking international experience.

The former Cameroon coach is at it again.

He has included underperforming players for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco.

One player included in his 34-man preliminary squad was Orlando Pirates forward Zakhele Lepasa, on loan at SuperSport United.

Statistics show that Lepasa has been struggling for goals, has scored three times in the Premier Soccer League all season and last found the back of the net in early March.

Neither is he providing assists, with his numbers reading zero in this aspect in the PSL.

He last started a match for SuperSport on April Fools’ Day but this is a man trusted by Broos, perhaps as a reward for scoring one of Bafana’s goals away in Liberia.

Then there is Marumo Gallants striker Ranga Chivaviro who not only proved his mettle on the domestic scene but in Africa as well.

Chivaviro was one of the PSL Golden Boot chasers with 10 goals and is currently the CAF Confederation Cup leading scorer with seven goals.

He might be wondering what else he needs to do to win Broos’ heart.

The Gallants forward has performed way better than Golden Arrows’ Pule Mmodi who has six league goals, including just two in 2022, but finds his way into the Bafana squad.

Calling up Lepasa and Mmodi makes it difficult to justify the omission of Lebo Mothiba who is the only South African player currently plying his trade in one of the biggest leagues in Europe.

Statistics aside, Mothiba counts for experience, which is lacking in this Bafana squad.

Aged 27, the Strasbourg forward has been playing in France since 2014, went to the 2016 Olympics and started every Bafana match at the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt but he finds himself frozen out by Broos.

Pictured above: Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos

Image source: Safa