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South Africa

Mokwena delivers Broos verdict after shock Zwane U-turn

19:11 BST 23/09/2022
Themba Zwane Bafana Bafana
The Mamelodi Sundowns coach lauded the Bafana Bafana tactician for ‘getting over’ his stubbornness and recalling the midfielder
  • Rhulani Mokwena lauds Hugo Broos for calling Zwane into national team
  • Sundowns midfielder had previously been snubbed by Bafana Bafana coach
  • The 33-year-old will hope to earn his 29th cap on Saturday

WHAT HAPPENED? Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has lauded his Bafana Bafana counterpart Hugo Broos for ‘getting over’ his stubbornness and recalling Themba Zwane into the South Africa squad following previous omissions.

The attacking midfielder last played for the national team in 2020, scoring twice as South Africa defeated Sao Tome and Principe 4-2 in the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, but Broos has bypassed him since taking over in 2021, citing his ‘advancing age.’

Broos was criticised for snubbing the 33-year-old 2019-20 PSL Player of the Year especially as he put in good performances for Sundowns while South Africa straggled in the World Cup and 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers but he included him him to the squad for friendly matches against Sierra Leone and Botswana to the delight of his coach.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I am excited about Themba being part of the squad because I have been advocating for this. I also want to take my hat off to Hugo Broos because it’s one thing to be stubborn as a coach, and when you have the humility to be able to correct a certain narrative that shows incredible leadership,” said Mokwena as quoted by Sundown’s website.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zwane was among several newcomers among them Melusi Buthelezi (TS Galaxy), Sibongiseni Mthethwa (Stellenbosch FC), Luke de Roux (Varbergs), Cyprus-based Mihlali Mayambela and Orlando Pirates marksman Zakhele Lepasa who were called by Broos for the games against Sierra Leone and Botswana.

DID YOU KNOW? ‘Mshishi’ won five individual awards in one season when he was named the 2019-20 PSL Footballer of the Season, PSL Player's Player of the Season, PSL Midfielder of the Season, Sundowns Player of the Season and Sundowns Players’ Player of the Season.

WHAT NEXT FOR ZWANE? Zwane, who expressed his delight at being included into the squad, will hope to win his 29th cap for Bafana Bafana during Saturday’s clash against the Leone Stars at the FNB Stadium.