Five Bucs Stars Secure Bafana Spots

30 August, 2023

Five Orlando Pirates players will swap their Club colours for those of the national team after being included in the South Africa squad that will do duty during the upcoming FIFA break.

Bafana Bafana’s preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) begin next month with Friendlies against Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, both hosted at Orlando Stadium.

Having initially named a 36-man preliminary group, national head coach Hugo Broos has trimmed his squad to 23 players, and five Buccaneers have made the final cut.

Among the five, four have been retained from the team that secured AFCON qualification in June, while right back Thabiso Monyane could be set for a first official cap after receiving his call-up.

The former youth international has been a regular in Jose Riveiro’s side, featuring in all games played across competitions this season, and his consistent performances have caught the eye of national team scouts.

Also in the mix is captain Innocent Maela, who started in Bafana’s last two AFCON qualifiers against Liberia and Morocco and could once again feature alongside teammate Nkosinathi Sibisi, who could add to his four international appearances.

Meanwhile, striker Zakhele Lepasa has been rewarded for his red-hot scoring form after finding the net nine times in eight games for Pirates this season, and has an opportunity to add to his seven caps.

Reigning PSL Players’ Player of the Season, Monnapule Saleng is the other Pirates star to make the cut following a solid start to the new campaign, where he has chipped in with two goals and an assist.

South Africa host Namibia on Saturday 9 September, with their fixture against DR Congo taking place at the same venue three days later.




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