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Is Themba Zwane Bafana Bafana's missing link? Broos hails Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder

1:27 PM EDT 9/24/22
Themba Zwane, Bafana Bafana & Mohamed Kamara, Sierra Leone, September 2022
South Africa coach Hugo Broos described Themba Zwane as the missing link in his Bafana Bafana team after the Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder impressed.
  • Broos' selection change succeeded after Zwane showed his worth
  • The Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder starred against Sierra Leone
  • Bafana Bafana coach hopes for another big win against Botswana

WHAT HAPPENED? Zwane returned to the national team for the first time in two years and put in a man-of-the-match performance, scoring two goals and setting up another. Broos had to eat humble pie after previously snubbing the 33-year-old over

WHAT WAS SAID: “Themba was not good, he was very good. Today, I’m very happy and I said always, only fools don’t change their mind,” Broos told SABC after the match.

“I knew he was a good player but as I said at the start of September, we prefer young players and I prefer to give a chance to young players but until now, we haven’t found it and why not change then and you see he proved today that maybe he is the missing link in our team.

“On the other side we have to be a little bit careful and not to be too happy because this is not France, Ghana or Morocco but again, the performance of Themba was very good.

“As a coach, you have something in your mind and you hope when the game starts that you see what you like to see. I told the [young] players don’t spoil your opportunity and they did not spoil the opportunity.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zwane, who was among several newcomers in the Bafana Bafana squad, showed great vision and finishing while linking up well with the front three of Kgaogelo Sekgota, Mihlali Mayambela and Zakhele Lepasa, giving South Africa fans hope of good tidings going forward.

This was the 29th cap for ‘Mshishi’ and he answered his critics in the best way possible by scoring his fifth and sixth goals for his country.

WHAT NEXT FOR BROOS? Zwane’s performance will make it difficult for Broos to leave him out of the squad again, especially in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers where they are yet to record a point.

Debutants Mihlali Mayembela, Luke le Roux and Kgaogelo Sekgota also impressed against the Leone Stars and it will be interesting to see how Broos finds the balance between youth and experience in their future assignments.

South Africa face Botswana in another friendly match on Tuesday where the Belgian tactician will be hoping for another dominant performance from his side.