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Broos: Why I Introduced Mofokeng

  • June 11, 2024
  • 3 min read
Broos: Why I Introduced Mofokeng

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos explained the late substitution of rising star attacker Relebohile Mofokeng, crediting his captain Ronwen Williams for advocating for the youngster to get some playing time.

Mofokeng entered the match in the 90th minute, replacing the impressive Oswin Appollis after Bafana Bafana secured a 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Mofokeng’s recent heroics with Orlando Pirates, including the winning goal in their Nedbank Cup triumph over Mamelodi Sundowns earlier this month, might have prompted Bafana Bafana’s captain to request his inclusion.

“Captain came to me and said, ‘Coach, what do you think? For the last minute? I said ‘Okay, good idea’ and therefore Mofokeng came,” said Broos after the game. 

“But that shows again how the atmosphere is in this group. I said it already, these are 23 friends, not colleagues, but friends. 

“When they can do for someone like, it’s great. Ronwen did it a year ago or something with Veli Mothwa (it was Melusi Buthelezi in the friendly match against Sierra Leone in September 2022).  

“He came on in five minutes in a friendly game I think and so now today and he said, ‘Put Mofokeng’ and I said, ‘That is a good idea’. That shows again the atmosphere in the camp, how these guys treat each other in the camp.  

“They are friends, and this is very important because you know there are only 11 players who can play and for me, I said it also to the group, there other 12 on the bench are even more important. 

“You saw the proof.”

Thapelo Morena was the standout performer for Bafana Bafana in the second half, scoring a brace for Hugo Broos’ side. This victory propels them to second place in Group C with seven points after four matches, tied with leaders Rwanda.

Rwanda secured a 1-0 win over Lesotho in Durban on Tuesday, taking the top spot due to the head-to-head tiebreaker rule. Broos emphasized that Morena’s inclusion on the bench wasn’t a slight on their friendship within the team.

“Thapelo Morena sat on the bench at the beginning of the game and in the second half he came in and helped us win the game,” said Broos. 

“So, this is very important.”  

The winners of each nine-team group will qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, co-hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The World Cup qualifiers will now take a break until resuming in March next year.

Picture courtesy of SAFA

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