Bafana Bafana have been knocked out of the Afcon in the semi-final stage via a 4-2 penalty shootout defeat by Nigeria. The match ended 1-1 after extra-time with Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Teboho Mokoena scoring for South Africa.

Nigeria were the first to draw blood following a penalty on Napoli striker Victor Osimhen inside the box. Captain William Troost-Ekong converted to make it 1-0 in the 67th minute.

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The Super Eagles thought they had found a second of the match through Osimhen. But the goal was disallowed through a VAR call. The same call resulted in a penalty call in favour of Bafana Bafana after it was discovered that Percy Tau was fouled in the box.

1996 CHAMPIONS BAFANA BAFANA KNOCKED OUT OF AFCON DESPITE BRAVE FIGHT 

Teboho Mokoena calmly slotted home to make it 1-1. South Africa could have won with seconds remaining but defender Khuliso Mudau failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity.

Bafana Bafana knocked out of the Afcon by Nigeria
Teboho Mokoena celebrates his penalty goal

The match went to extra-time but the score remained 1-1 which resulted in a penalty shootout. But before the penalty shootout, Bafana were reduced to 10-men after Grant Kekana was given a red card for a foul on Ademola Lookman.

“It’s a big disappointment for everyone,” Coach Hugo Broos told the media. 

“We feel that we played a very good game not only today but we played a very good AFCON. 

“I’m very, very proud of it but I’m proud of my players, the disappointment is this but the proudness is that. What they did, what they performed, not only today I think you have to be proud as a coach,” added the Belgian. 

“So, yes it’s a defeat and you see you played a very bad game with Cape Verde. You win with penalties and today you played a very good game against Nigeria and you lose with penalties.”

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was the hero during the 2-1 penalty shootout against Cape Verde to advance to the AFCON semi-finals. South Africa will now face Nigeria on Wednesday at 19:00 to fight for a place in the finals.

But the progression to the last four did not come easy as Bafana had to rely on penalties. The 32-year-old saved four spot-kicks on the night, the first by any Keeper at the tournament.

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The two teams played to a 0-0 draw after extra time despite the chances created by both sides.

“I give credit to the analysts,” said the Mamelodi Sundowns keeper. “They prepared me, they cut so many videos. We studied the clips, I studied them as well. Yeah, it’s not me [only who did the job]. Like I said credit to the analysts and the goalkeeper coach as well.”

Bafana Bafana winging the national anthem

BAFANA BAFANA PENALTY HERO RONWEN WILLIAMS GIVES CREDIT TO ANALYSTS AFTER AFCON SEMI-FINALS QUALIFICATION

“They sent me so many clips, you know, my phone is full of penalty clips. So, it’s a credit to the analysts for doing the work cause it’s not easy to get footage of some of the players because they are playing all over the world,” he said during the post-match conference.

“Big ups to the analysts for preparing the work for me to watch and study. They made my job 50 percent easier because I had an idea where most of the players were going.”

This is the first time that Bafana Bafana has qualified for the AFCON semi-finals since 2000 in Ghana and Nigeria. But they went on to lose to Nigeria in the semis, the same opponents they face on Wednesday. A win for Bafana would see them progress to the Finals for the third time in history. The other time was in 1996 when they won the Cup on Home soil and in 1998 when they lost to Egypt in the Final. 

Bafana Bafana beat Morocco 2-0 at Stade Laurent Pokou on Tuesday in the AFCON last 16 round to progress to the Quarter-finals. Orlando Pirates striker Evidence Makgopa scored the only goal of the match and his first of the tournament in the 57th minute.

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The FIFA World Cup semi-finalists Morocco came into the match as favourites against the Hugo Broos charges. As expected they dominated proceedings in the first half and could have taken a lead before the halftime break.

But a resilient Bafana side managed to hold on and until the first 45 minutes. But it didn’t take time before Makgopa slotted home from close range to give the 1996 Champions a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the second half.

A VICTORY AGAINST ALL ODDS FOR BAFANA BAFANA AS THEY PROGRESS TO THE NEXT ROUND

Despite an aggressive fightback by the Moroccans, Bafana Bafana managed to hold on to the much-important victory. Bafana thought they had won a penalty kick when substitute Thapelo Maseko looked like he was fouled inside the box but the referee waved play on.

Bafana Bafana stun Morocco to progress to AFCON quarter-finals
Bafana Bafana players celebrate against Morocco

MISSED PENALTY

Morocco were awarded a penalty kick with five minutes remaining after Mvala was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the 18 area. But experienced right-back Achraf Hakimi missed the golden opportunity. Bafana eventually won the match 1-0.

They will now take on Cape Verde in the quarter-final match on Saturday night.

𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗘𝗥-𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟 𝗙𝗜𝗫𝗧𝗨𝗥𝗘𝗦

Nigeria v Angola
Friday, 2 February
19:00

DR Congo v Guinea
Friday; 2 February
22:00

Mali v Ivory Coast
Saturday, 3 February
19:00

Cape Verde v
Saturday, 3 February

Bafana Bafana: Ronwen Williams, Khuliso Mudau, Grant Kekana, Mothobi Mvala, Aubrey Modiba, Sphephelo Sithole, Teboho Mokoena, Percy Tau, Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane, Evidence Makgopa.

Subs: Veli Mothwa, Ricardo Goss, Nyiko Mobbie, Terrence Mashego, Siyanda Xulu, Osqin Appollis, Jayden Adams, Thapelo Maseko, Thabang Monare, Zakhele Lepasa, Nkosinathu Sibisi, Mihlali Mayambela.

Morocco XI: Bono, Hakimni, Saiss, Ageurd, Mazraoui, Amallah, Amrabat, Ounah, Adli, Ezzalzouli, En-Nyesri. 

Hugo Broos and his Bafana Bafana troops have qualified for the last 16 of the AFCON tournament in Ivory Coast. This follows a 0-0 draw against Tunisia on Wednesday which sees them finish second in Group E. South Africa will now face Morocco in the knockout stage on Tuesday, 30 January.

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Coach Broos praised his players for showing their quality at the highest level.

“I don’t have to tell you that there’s a very happy coach sitting behind this mic. Not only because we qualified for the next round, but because of the performance,” he said.

“You know, a coach can be satisfied when he sees his boys working and fighting on the pitch. Doing what you ask, and a coach is very happy when he sees a bunch of guys on the bench, giving as much effort as those on the field to support their teammates.

“I saw all of this today. I saw a family, I saw a team that just wanted one thing which is going one round [further].”

Bafana Bafana have qualified for the AFCON Last 16 round
Mothobi Mvala in action against Tunisia 

DELIGHT AS BAFANA BAFANA QUALIFIED FOR THE AFCON LAST 16 ROUND

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Themba Zwane was voted Man of the Match for the second time in a row.

“We wanted to qualify for the next round and we did well as a team. We managed to get a point today and overall as a team, we did well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tunisia coach Jalel Kadri says they take responsibility for the defeat and subsequent elimination from the tournament.

“It was clear that the team tried their best. Despite the defeat, we gave it our best,” he said.

“During the first half, we tried but couldn’t break them. We saw some weaknesses in their attack and tried to win.

“We were not so productive and had tactical problems in the first game. But we have to take responsibility for this defeat”.

“We apologize to the Tunisian people. Football is like this sometimes. You need luck. In respect of the Tunisian people, we apologise for this result”.

Bafana Bafana lost 2-0 in their opening Group E match of the 2023 Afcon tournament at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Tuesday.

The first real chance of the match came in the 14th minute via Percy Tau. The Al Ahly star shot inside the 18-area box was saved by the Mali Keeper. Bafana Bafana controlled play causing panic problems for the Mali defense.

Bafana Bafana were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute following a foul on Orlando Pirates striker Evidence Makgopa after a VAR check. Al Ahly star Percy Tau missed the spot-kick much to the dismay of the Bafana supporters.

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Tau had a chance to redeem himself with 10 minutes remaining before the halftime break. But Mali keeper Djigui Diarra made a brilliant save to deny him a chance. Teboho Mokoena attempted a long-range shot but again Diarra was well-placed to make a save.

Mali nearly scored before the halftime break after a mistake by Siyands Xulu. The two nations went into the halftime break at 0-0.

Despite Bafana remaining steady in the early stages of the second half, Mali posed threats with a few attacks but found the Bafana defense organised.

Bafana Bafana lost their opening AFCON match
Themba Zwane against Mali

HOW BAFANA BAFANA LOST OPENING MATCH AT AFCON

Mali finally found the lead after captain Hamari Traore scored from a rebound of a free kick from outside the 18-area. The Eagles secured the maximum points when Lassine Sinayoko scored a second with 25 minutes remaining.

The Mali national team goes on top of the mini-log following the win. Second will be Bafana COSAFA rivals Namibia who won their first-ever Afcon match when they defeated Tunisia earlier this afternoon.

SOUTH AFRICA STARTING LINE-UP V MALI

Ronwen Williams [GK], Teboho Mokoena, Siyanda Xulu, Aubrey Modiba, Evidence Makgopa, Percy Tau, Themba Zwane, Thapelo Maseko, Sphephelo Sithole, Mothobi Mvala, Khuliso Mudau.

Coach Hugo Broos has announced his final Bafana Bafana squad for the Afcon tournament taking place next month. The tournament organised by CAF will take place from 13 January to 11 February 2024 in Ivory Coast. It was initially scheduled to take place in June 2023 but was moved forward due to weather concerns.

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Broos has announced the 23 players from the 50 names on his preliminary squad announced this month. Bafana Bafana are in Group E alongside Mali, Tunisia and neighbours Namibia. They will begin their tournament on 16 January against Mali before a clash against Namibia and then Tunisia.

The 1996 Champions are making their 12th appearance at the continental showpiece. They would want to emulate the club of 96′ which was led by the late Clive Barker. Jomo Sono is the only other coach to come close after his squad finished second during the tournament held in Burkina Faso.

FULL LIST OF BAFANA BAFANA AFCON SQUAD

Bafana Bafana Afcon Squad announced
Bafana Afcon Squad

From South Africa’s group, Namibia are the only other nation to announce its squad for the tournament. The squad led by Mamelodi Sundowns marksman Peter Shalulile includes several stars who ply their trade in the Premier Soccer League. They also include Baroka captain Ananias Gebhardt, Orlando Pirates winger Deon Hotto and Black Leopards forward Bethuel Muzeua.

OTHER SOUTH AFRICANS FLYING THE FLAG IN IVORY COAST

Referee Abongile Tim is amongst the 26 referees who will officiate at the tournament. He is also joined by Akhona Makalima who will be part of the VAR referees.

The pair form part of a list of 68 which comprises highly experienced match officials from across the continent. They have also officiated at a number of CAF international competitions.  

The set of match officials also comprises 26 referees, 30 assistant referees and 12 VAR referees. 

Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily
harm. The sentence, however, was wholly suspended for five years on the condition that he is not found guilty of committing a similar offence during the period of suspension.

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Lorch was further ordered to pay a fine of R 100 000 to the non-governmental organisation, People Opposing Women Abuse [POWA]. R50 000 is due to be paid immediately [Tuesday] and the balance in installments. The 30-year-old was sentenced by the Randburg Magistrates’ Court, Gauteng.

The case relates to a complaint laid with the Midrand Police by his then-girlfriend, Fundiswa Nokuphiwa Mathithibala, in September 2020. This resulted in his arrest and subsequent release on bail of R 2000.

Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch sentenced to three years
Thembinkosi Lorch

SENTENCED ANNOUNCED AGAINST ORLANDO PIRATES STAR THEMBINKOSI LORCH

The Bafana Bafana star was arrested on 07 September 2020, following an incident that happened at his place of residence in Midrand, on 06 September 2020.

Mathithibala said she was visiting Lorch when he left her at his home to go out with his friend. She said she saw that it was getting late and messaged him to return her car keys. On arrival, an argument ensued and Lorch became violent towards her and started to strangle her. Beat her whilst pulling her up and down. She called for help and his friend came to her rescue.

State prosecutor, Ms Michele Hart argued that the medical evidence corroborated the evidence of the complainant. The accused did not have any injuries which meant that he was the aggressor. The accused and his witness did not create a good impression in court as they were found to be non-credible witnesses.

“The NPA will continue in its fight against Gender-Based Violence to protect women from being subjected and/or targeted by perpetrators of GBV.”

English Premiership club Burnley has provided an update on the mental health of Bafana Bafana striker Lyle Foster. Foster has made it no secret that he suffers from mental issues.

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The club announced on Thursday that the former Orlando Pirates player was currently in the care of specialists.

LYLE FOSTER CLUB BURNLEY’S STATEMENT ON HIS MENTAL HEALTH

“On behalf of Lyle Foster and his family they have asked us to share with you an update on Lyle’s illness,” the club said.

“Recently, Lyle let us know that he continues to live with issues around his mental well-being and has reached out for help.

“He is currently in the care of specialists. Giving him the support and care he needs to help him back to full health,” said Burnely.

Burnley shares an update on the mental health of Bafana Bafana striker Lyle Foster
Lyle Foster

“With the love and support of his family and everyone at Burnley Football Club we will do all we can to provide everything he needs to get better.
We ask for your understanding and respect Lyle’s privacy around this matter. We will not be making any more comments until further notice.

“One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. According to the PFA – over 75% of professional footballers have experienced some kind of mental health issue.”

Head coach Vincent Kompany has also emphasized that Foster will be given the much-needed support when he is ready to return.

Lyle has been having issues with his mental well-being. As a club, we have very quickly made a decision to fully support him, support his family, and Obviously offer him access to all the expertise and clinical support that he needs. At the moment we wish him a speedy recovery. We wish him to be in a better place by the time he is ready to come back to us.”

The 23-year-old first spoke about his suffering from depression in July this year. He has once again reached out for help.

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is expected to name his 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Friday. Foster is not expected to be part of the squad.

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has named his final 23-member squad for the international friendly matches in October.

Bafana will take on eSwatini on 13 October at 18:00. They will then travel to Ivory Coast on 17 October 2023.

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Broos is using the two matches to finetune his squad ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. South Africa is also set to begin their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.

“We have again three injured players for the moment, players who played in the previous games,” he said.

 “It’s a pity, but I think for 80-85 percent that the team is made [for AFCON].

“There can be changes, certainly there can be changes, but I’m very happy that we are already so far,” said Broos on Thursday.

“With those two games now, Eswatini and Côte d’Ivoire, I can really make the choices next month for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Benin and Rwanda.”

HUGO BROOS ON THE INCLUSION OF PASEKA MAKO

“First of all he’s better than last season. He plays good at the moment for Orlando Pirates, he’s quick and he’s very aggressive in duals.

“What I like is because he’s a defender and he is very offensive also. So this is always a quality, if you have that quality in your team it’s also very important,” explained Broos.

Hugo Broos names Bafana Bafana squad for October friendlies
Paseka Mako

“Defensively he’s not bad, not at all, the only thing maybe you can tell is he’s not a tall player. That can maybe sometimes be a problem if you play against teams with tall players.”

BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD FOR UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL BREAK

GOALKEEPERS:
Ronwen Williams [Mamelodi Sundowns], Veli Mothwa [AmaZulu FC], Ricardo Goss [SuperSport United]

DEFENDERS:
Nyiko Mobbie [Sekhukhune United], Grant Kekana [Mamelodi Sundowns], Nkosinathi Sibisi [Orlando Pirates], Aubrey Modiba [Mamelodi Sundowns], Paseka Mako [Orlando Pirates] Mothobi Mvala [Mamelodi Sundowns], Siyanda Xulu [SuperSport United], Khuliso Mudau [Mamelodi Sundowns]

MIDFIELDERS:
Njabulo Blom [Sr Louis FC], Teboho Mokoena [Mamelodi Sundowns], Sphephelo Sithole [C.D Tondela], Sibongiseni Mthethwa [Kaizer Chiefs]

FORWARDS:
Mihlali Mayambela [Aris Limassol], Percy Tau [Al Ahly], Zakhele Lepasa [Orlando Pirates], Lyle Foster [Burnley], Lebo Mothiba [Strasbourg FC], Monnapule Saleng [Orlando Pirates], Bongokuhle Hlongwane [Minnesota], Themba Zwane [Mamelodi Sundowns].

The Limpopo province has turned down the offer to host the upcoming Bafana Bafana friendly matches, Limpopo Chronicle has learnt. Bafana Bafana are set to play against Namibia on 9 September and DR Congo three days later.

SAFA are expected to announce the hoist venues in the next few days. But this publication can reveal that the football mother body SAFA approached the Limpopo Department of Sport with the view to bringing the matches to the province.

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SAFA Limpopo had identified the Peter Mokaba Stadium as the possible host for the matches. But the province has reportedly turned down the opportunity citing time and financial constraints. ”The matches are reportedly now going to be hosted in Gauteng.

KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape were also the other provinces believed to be keen on hosting the two matches.

Meanwhile, Bafana coach Hugo Broos on Tuesday named a 36-member preliminary squad for the two matches.

Limpopo turns down offer to host Bafana Bafana matches
Hugo Broos

BAFANA BAFANA PRELIMINARY SQUAD:

Goalkeepers:
Ronwen Williams [Mamelodi Sundowns], Veli Mothwa [AmaZulu], Ricardo Goss [SuperSport United], Sipho Chaine [Orlando Pirates].

Defenders:
Nyiko Mobbie [Sekhukhune United], Grant Kekana [Mamelodi Sundowns], Nkosinathi Sibisi [Orlando Pirates], Aubrey Modiba [Mamelodi Sundowns], Thabiso Monyane [Orlando Pirates], Mothobi Mvala [Mamelodi Sundowns], Siyanda Xulu [SuperSport United], Given Msimango [Kaizer Chiefs], Innocent Maela [Orlando Pirates], Keegan Allan [Moroka Swallows], Ime Okon [SuperSport United], Sfiso Hlanti [Kaizer Chiefs], Zuko Mdunyelwa [Chippa United].

Midfielders:
Luke Le Roux [Varbergs Bois], Njabulo Blom [Saint Louis], Teboho Mokoena [Mamelodi Sundowns], Grant Margeman [SuperSport United], Bathusi Aubaas [Mamelodi Sundowns], Sphephelo Sithole [Tondela], Mlungisi Mbanjana [TS Galaxy].

Forwards:
Mihlali Mayambela [Aris Limassol], Themba Zwane [Mamelodi Sundowns], Kobamelo Kodisang [Moreirense], Khanyiso Mayo [Cape Town City], Iqraam Rayners [Stellenbosch], Pule Mmodi [Kaizer Chiefs], Bongokuhle Hlongwane [Minnesota], Percy Tau [Al Ahly], Zakhele Lepasa [Orlando Pirates], Lyle Foster [Burnley], Lebo Mothiba [Strasbourg], Monnapule Saleng [Orlando Pirates].