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Broos rewards Mofokeng but snubs Mabasa

Orlando Pirates teenage sensation Relebohile Mofokeng has been rewarded with his first Bafana Bafana call-up ahead of June’s Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

South Africa coach Hugo Broos has named a 36-member preliminary squad, which will be trimmed to 23 players “in the next few days”, according to Safa.

Bafana resume their Group C campaign by visiting the Super Eagles for the 7 June tie in Uyo before hosting Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein four days later.

Mofokeng is one of three players who have received debut call-ups, along with the Stellenbosch duo of forward Devin Titus and defender Thabo Moloisane.

While the 19-year-old Mofokeng could make his national team debut, his in-form teammate Tshegofatso Mabasa was snubbed.

Mabasa leads the PSL Golden Boot race with 15 goals.

Interestingly, Broos has stuck with Evidence Makgopa, who is struggling for game time at Pirates, but opted against Mabasa, who has overshadowed the lanky striker.

The return of Burnley forward Lyle Foster, who last played for the national team in October 2023, boosts the Bafana squad.

Foster missed crucial international periods due to a battle with mental health and injuries, but he is back in the Bafana squad just days after his Premier League club was relegated to the Championship.

Broos’s provisional squad features just one Kaizer Chiefs player, centre-back Given Msimango, whose chances of making the final cut appear slim.

To make it, he has to shrug off the challenge of Mothobi Mvala, Grant Kekana and Nkosinathi Sibisi, who were at Afcon, as well as high-flying Siyabonga Ngezana, Tapelo Xoki and Moloisane.

Bafana is second in Group C after beating Benin and losing away to Rwanda in their opening matches.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Bruce Bvuma, Ricardo Goss, Veli Mothwa

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie, Innocent Maela, Given Msimango, Khuliso Mudau, Siyabonga Ngezana, Thabiso Monyane, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Mothobi Mvala, Terrence Mashego, Grant Kekana, Thapelo Morena, Aubrey Modiba, Tapelo Xoki, Thabo Maloisane

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Bathusi Aubaas, Grant Margeman, Sphephelo Sithole, Jayden Adams

Forwards: Themba Zwane, Patrick Maswanganyi, Tshepang Moremi, Evidence Makgopa, Mihlali Mayambela, Devin Titus, Mlondi Mbanjwa, Elias Mokwana, Percy Tau, Oswin Appollis, Iqraam Rayners, Lyle Foster, Relebohile Mofokeng

Pictured above: Orlando Pirates attacker Relebohile Mofokeng tears away from Chippa United’s Menzi Ndwandwe while Innocent Maela looks on.

Image source: Orlando Pirates