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Zwane justifies Bafana Bafana call-up as South Africa thump hapless Sierra Leone

19:14 EAT 18/09/2022
Themba Zwane, Bafana Bafana & Mohamed Kamara, Sierra Leone, September 2022
Themba Zwane was influential as the 1996 African champions hammered the Leone Stars 4-0 in a friendly match at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
  • Zwane grabbed a brace as Bafana Bafana bounced back to winning ways
  • The win ended the 1996 African champions' three-match winless run under Broos
  • It is South Africa's first win over Sierra Leone in five matches

WHAT HAPPENED? South Africa proved too strong for Sierra Leone as they claimed an emphatic 4-0 win over their West African visitors. Bafana Bafana dominated the game from start to finish with Themba Zwane grabbing a brace, while Mihlali Mayambela and Aubrey Modiba also put their names on the scoresheet with the hosts securing their first-ever win over the Leone Stars from their five meetings.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is a much-needed morale-boosting victory that coach Hugo Broos wanted as Bafana were winless in three games coming into this clash having recorded a draw against Guinea and two successive defeats to France and Morocco.

ALL EYES ON: Zwane was handed a surprise first call-up by Broos who had previously stated that he wouldn't include the Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker in his team due to his age. The 33-year-old justified his selection by producing a brilliant performance against the Leone Stars in what was his first appearance for Bafana since 2020.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT:

Broos handed several players their international debuts including Mihlali Mayambela, Pule Mmodi, Melusi Buthelezi and Khanyiso Mayo. This should create healthy competition for places in the team while also having depth in the squad ahead of next year's 2023 Afcon qualifiers. The Belgian tactician will have a strong pool of players to select from going forward.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR BAFNA? The Southern African giants will now take on their neighbors Botswana in another friendly match at FNB Stadium on Tuesday. It will be a chance to build momentum ahead of the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.