Cassius Mailula in action in the MLS

Broos explains absences of Hlongwane, Blom and Mailula in Bafana squad

Home » Broos explains absences of Hlongwane, Blom and Mailula in Bafana squad

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has explained why the United States-based trio of Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Njabulo Blom and Cassius Mailula were not included in his final 23-man squad.

Broos, on Wednesday in Johannesburg, announced his final squad to take on Namibia and DR Congo in international friendly matches in September.

Bafana will take on neighbours Namibia on September 9 and do battle with DR Congo on September 12. Both matches to be held at Orlando Stadium.

Broos included his most trusted soldiers and core players in his squad as he looks to build towards the 2023 AFCON finals in Ivory Coast and prepare for the qualifying rounds for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in November.

But, he also called up several new faces, such as Orlando Pirates defender Thabiso Monyane and Kobamelo Kodisang, who plays in Portugal’s Primeira Liga for Moreirense FC.

In addition, Lebo Mothiba of Ligue 1 side Strasbourg and SuperSport United’s sGrant Margeman make a return to the Bafana set-up.

However, the inclusion of these new players meant that the players based in Major League Soccer (MLS) were not called up. Broos explained that Minnesota United FC attacker Hlongwane was not called up due to injury.

He said that Mailula was excluded because of his transfer to Toronto FC most recently, while Blom of St. Louis City missed out due to lack of game time.

Hugo Broos giving an instruction to Bongokuhle Hlongwane


“Hlongwane is injured, so he can’t be with us,” said Hugo Broos. “I had a phone call with him yesterday. He will not play today. He will not play Sunday. Maybe he could be ready for one of the two [Bafana] games, but I think it’s better for him to stay there.

“It gives me the opportunity to call someone else; Kodisang is there. With Mailula, there was a transfer. He joined a new team and didn’t play much in the month of August.

“He played now yesterday, I think. Ok, Mailula is Mailula, and he will stay with us. Also, now, for these games, it gives me the opportunity to try something else.

“I don’t know what happened with Blom; sometimes he played, and then for three [to] four weeks he doesn’t play.

“I prefer then to take Margeman and give him his chance than to take Blom, also someone who didn’t play so much [in] the last few weeks.”

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Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Aubrey Modiba, Grant Kekana, Mothobi Mvala (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thabiso Monyane (all Orlando Pirates), Siyanda Xulu (SuperSport United)

Midfielders: Luke le Roux (Varbergs BoIS, Sweden), Teboho Mokoena, Bathusi Aubaas (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Grant Margeman (SuperSport United)

Forwards: Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kobamelo Kodisang (Moreirense FC, Portugal), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt), Monnapule Saleng, Zakhele Lepasa (both Orlando Pirates), Lyle Foster (Burnley, England), Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg FC, France)

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