Bafana Bafana coach Mkhalele is back but Covid-19 hits his squad again

Helman Mkhalele Bafana vs UgandaBackpagepix

Bafana Bafana’s Cosafa Cup coach Helman Mhalele is returning from isolation while midfielder Masilake Pohlongo has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Friday’s semi-final clash against Mozambique.

TS Galaxy linkman Pohlongo has tested positive together with the team’s physiotherapist Nhlanhla Ndlovu.

With the infected requiring to isolate for 10 days, this rules Phohlongo out of the Cosafa tournament which ends on Sunday.

But coach Mkhalele will be back on the bench again together with goalkeeper-coach Lucky Shiburi who was also out after testing positive for Covid-19.

“Physiotherapist Nhlanhla Ndlovu tested positive for the virus as well as midfielder Masilake Phohlongo,” Safa said in a statement.
“On arrival in Gqeberha, coaches Helman Mkhalele and Lucky Shiburi tested positive and were immediately isolated. Having undergone the mandatory 10-day isolation they have been cleared today [Thursday] and are no longer deemed infectious.

“The same process will be undertaken for the most recent cases [mandatory isolation for 10 days] and they will be under medical supervision until day 11 when they’re able to de-isolate.”

In Mkhalele’s absence, Morena Ramorebuli was in charge and managed to lead the team to three wins and a draw.

Bafana Bafana are yet to concede a goal and would want to keep that encouraging record against Mozambique on Friday.

“Out of all the positives in this tournament is the character that these boys have shown,” said Ramoreboli as per Sowetan Live.

“You started to see this team winning matches under difficult conditions, to see individuals raising their hands saying they would fight for the country.

“You can look at our goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, who has been doing well. Our defence has been solid because we haven’t conceded a goal. You look at Rushine de Reuck, Thabani Dube‚ Njabulo Ngcobo‚ Nyiko Mobbie.

“You go into the midfield. I think we have created a lot of chances through our combination play, which is our strength. You look at the ability in the middle with Lebohang Maboe, Siyethemba Sithebe‚ Yusuf Maart and Sphelele Mkhulise.

“Upfront we’ve also had competitive players. I believe we have raised the bar and said we are ready to go to the semi-finals.

“But what we need to do now is go out and dominate. Because it’s the knockout stage, crunch time – we need to fight with everything we have.”

Bafana are bidding for a fifth Cosafa Cup title which would put them on par with Zambia while coming just behind record holders Zimbabwe who have six titles.