Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Percy Tau benched for Zimbabwe World Cup qualifier

'I’s disgusting sometimes," said Bafana head coach Hugo Broos this week on criticism of Tau.

Bafana Bafana’s experienced forward Percy Tau will sit on the substitutes bench for South Africa’s 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifier at the Free State Stadium on Tuesday.

Tau was described a having a ‘little, little’ injury problem by Bafana head coach Hugo Broos on Monday, but it is unclear if form or fitness is the reason Tau has been left out.

The Al Ahly attacker has been defended stoutly by Broos in recent times over criticism of his performances at both the Africa Cup of Nations finals, and in Friday’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying Group C draw with Nigeria in Uyo.

“It’s not so easy when they kill you on social media. It’s the worst thing in the world. You can say what you want about somebody, but it’s disgusting sometimes. I hope what he feels from the group and the technical team will be enough,” said Broos ahead of Tuesday’s match.

Tau’s place in the Bafana side has been taken by Polokwane City attacker Oswin Appollis, a somewhat surprising decision given that Burnley’s Lyle Foster and Orlando Pirates’ Patrick Maswanganyi are both on the bench.

Appollis gets a chance

Appollis, however, was part of the Bafana Bafana squad at the Africa Cup of Nations finals earlier this year, and clearly has the trust of Broos for an important game against the Warriors.

Bafana did well to hold Nigeria to a draw away from home, but Broos has stressed the importance of all three points against Zimbabwe.

“We have to win, I will not be happy and I think all of South Africa will not be happy if we don’t win tomorrow,” said the Bafana head coach. Appollis coming in for Tau is the only change to his starting line-up that Broos has made from the draw with Nigeria.