Jonty Mark
Football Editor
3 minute read
11 Nov 2021
9:38 am

Tau back in form and looking to help Bafana to World Cup glory

Jonty Mark

'It is just a young group, so there are not so many problems,' said Tau, on the success Bafana have had under Hugo Broos.

Percy Tau is back in form and looking to shine for Bafana. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/Backpagepix.

Bafana Bafana should see a Percy Tau buzzing with the confidence of shining again at a big club, with the attacking wizard set to return to the South African team for Thursday’s Fifa World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe at FNB Stadium.

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Tau was perhaps a little under-cooked when Bafana opened their Group G qualifying campaign with a goalless draw in Zimbabwe, followed by a 1-0 home win over Ghana, even if he did score a ‘goal’ in that game that was incorrectly ruled out for offside.

A pre-season with Brighton in the English Premier League had been followed by a move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly, and reunion with his former Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane. Tau’s debut for Ahly was delayed by an injury, which also saw him miss the two qualifiers against Ethiopia in October.

Now, however, Tau is back to full fitness, and scored twice on his Ahly debut against Ismaily, while also helping them to a 5-3 win over Cairo rivals Zamalek on Friday.

Bafana fans will hope he can now help the team complete a successful campaign in Group G – a victory over Zimbabwe on Thursday and a point in Ghana on Sunday will ensure that Hugo Broos’ side top Group G and make it into the final qualifying round for the five African places at Qatar 2022.

“It is always good to score on your debut, it takes away the pressure and it is something I have always done in my career,” said Tau this week.

“I did it in Belgium (Tau had loan spells at Union St Gilloise, Club Brugge and Anderlecht), it just didn’t happen for me in England. It puts you in a better space, even with your teammates, they can understand how you contribute, and it makes you confident in yourself and how you are playing.”

Tau was happy to watch from the sidelines as Bafana managed to get home-and-away wins over Ethiopia in October, to keep their place on top of Group G.

“I was injured and could not be selfish (by coming to the Bafana camp),” explained Tau.

“I always had to believe the players could do the job, even when we missed one player, we still had to be able to go out and win against Ethiopia. I was watching and was still a part of the team.”

Tau is one of the more experienced players in the Bafana squad, and has seen success and failure in previous qualification campaigns. He scored two vital goals as Stuart Baxter’s Bafana beat Libya to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals, but was also part of Molefi Ntseki’s side that lost to Sudan and failed to make it to next year’s Afcon finals.

“I have been with the team for some time and been in situations where we had to qualify, and your last game is away all the time, we did it once … so I do have a bit of experience in that now,” he added.

Tau also sees a special camaraderie in Broos’ Bafana camp, and he points to a lack of ‘star’ names as helping team spirit.

“The guys want to win and improve, they know how important international football is to their careers. Most of the guys are from the PSL so it is easy to get along. It is just a young group, so there are not so many problems.”