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Bafana name Cosafa Cup squad

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Maritzburg United’s Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Tshegofatso Mabasa or Orlando Pirates will spearhead Bafana Bafana’s attack during the upcoming Cosafa Cup.

Helman Mkhalele, assistant coach of South Africa congratulates players for the victory during the recent International Friendly against Uganda. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

DURBAN – Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele named a youthful squad to play in the Cosafa Cup, which kicks off later this 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.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mkhalele reiterated that the games will be used as preparation for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers, though they will also be aiming to win the tournament. Bafana has been drawn into a group that also features Lesotho, eSwatini and Botswana.

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

As was expected, the Bafana squad for the Cosafa Cup is devoid of senior Bafana Bafana players bar Orlando Pirates midfielder Vincent Pule (29).

Golden Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana was rewarded for his good form in the DStv Premiership last season with a call up to the squad. However, it remains to be seen if he or Kaizer Chiefs’ Bruce Bvuma will be chosen to start in the games.

The Bafana Bafana attack is set to be spearheaded by the young duo consisting of Maritzburg United’s Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates.

Kaizer Chiefs players have been named in the squad, though the squad 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 the 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.

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)

@eshlinv

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