16 July 2022 – Orlando Pirates legend Siyabonga Sangweni wished Bafana Bafana well ahead of their COSAFA Cup Plate final against Botswana, adding that the lads are now gelling to the way coach Helman Mkhalele wants them to play.
Bafana Bafana progressed to this year’s COSAFA Plate final after beating Madagascar 2-1 in the semi-finals on Friday. Sangweni, who also cut his teeth in this Southern regional football tournament as a junior before becoming a household name, said this core of players must be kept together as coach Mkhalele might have found a group of young players who will shine for Bafana Bafana in the future.
The Bafana Bafana match between South Africa and Botswana will take place on Sunday at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (Kickoff 10h00).
“Players such as myself and Teko Modise started here in this tournament before we were called up for major Bafana Bafana assignments such as the AFCON and FIFA qualifiers or tournaments,” Sangweni said. “I have seen something really special with this group and this is one team that coach Helman Mkhalele must continue working with as they continue with their growth and development as up and coming players. They have since made great improvement from their first match against Mozambique where goals wouldn’t come no matter how much they tried.
“Coming into the Madagascar game, they were more clinical; playing the type of football I grew up watching and aspiring to play like, one day when I turned pro.
Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Brilliant Khuzwayo shared the same sentiments
“I was around 20-years old when I earned my first call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad,” Khuzwayo said. “I had a chat with Lincoln Vyver (Bafana Bafana goalkeeper) following their 2-1 win against Madagascar and we spoke about certain areas he can still improve on and he understood. This is a perfect platform because most teams are scouting who they might want to sign next for their respective clubs. My advice for this Bafana Bafana group is to make full use of this opportunity and shine in this final match.”