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Bafana ratings: Hlongwane maturing into a top player

Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa discusses tactics with Bongokuhle Hlongwane during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia held at the the FNB Stadium on Tuesday. Picture: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

Sports Correspondent Eshlin Vedan rates the Bafana Bafana starters following their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier win over Ethiopia.

DURBAN – Bafana Bafana beat Ethiopia 1-0 at FNB Stadium on Tuesday night to keep their unbeaten record in the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers.

Eshlin Vedan rates the South African starters …

Ronwen Williams (6)

Forced into an alert save by Surafel Dagnachew after almost 40 minutes. Other than that, his night was far quieter than it was last weekend. He was lucky to have not gifted Ethiopia an equaliser in the 79th minute when his failed clearance deflected off and out of play when it struck Abubaker Nasser.

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Nyiko Mobbie (7)

Probed down the right-hand channel. He got his passes well executed and made clear challenges throughout.

Siyanda Xulu (6.5)

Gave away possession which could have led to Kabede equalising. Other than that, the experienced centre-back marshalled the backline well as a senior player as his passes and challenges were well-timed. He helped prevent Ethiopia from carving out clear opportunities.

Rushine de Reuck (7)

Nearly gave away an early penalty to Getaneh Kabede. Later produced a good block to prevent Kabebe from having a good opportunity to score.

Terrence Mashego (6.5)

A clean game from Mashego. He was positioned and tracked back efficiently but with better communication with De Reuck and Xulu, Ethiopia would have had even fewer opportunities than they had.

Njabulo Ngcobo (7)

He won the ball back well throughout the game to prevent Ethiopia from creating too many clear-cut opportunities.

Yusuf Maart (7)

Whipped in a good cross to create the own goal scored by Kabede. He is definitely repaying the faith shown in him by the Bafana hierarchy.

Yusuf Maart of South Africa had a good game against Ethiopia on Tuesday. Picture: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

Teboho Mokoena (6.5)

Played in a good free-kick early in the game. It was a pity nobody could meet it. Mokoena got the basics of his game right but he can do much better to rotate the ball efficiently between attack and defence.

Victor Letsoalo (4)

He got a clumsy yellow card that was easily avoidable. He definitely needs to control his urges better. Missed a sitter to double the lead for Bafana Bafana when Hlongwane set him up beautifully. Not his best game.

Evidence Makgopa (6.5)

Showed good awareness early on in the game. He got his positioning right mostly but was lucky that he was offside when he spurned a cross sent towards him because he would have missed a sitter. He nearly scored in the second half, doing everything right but was unlucky that Mesud Mohammed made a goal-line clearance.

Bongokuhle Hlongwane (8)

Probed well and created a couple of opportunities for Bafana Bafana. Hlongwane is maturing very fast and at this rate, he is unlikely to play his club football for Maritzburg United for much longer as he will surely be attracting interest from more resourced sides.


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