Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is set to give several more players a chance to stake a claim for places in future competitive games when his team face world champions France in Tuesday’s international friendly in Lille.
The veteran tactician says Egypt-based striker Fagrie Lakay and defender Sydney Mobbie from DStv Premiership outfit Sekhukhune United will feature among the changes, after they did not play in Friday’s goalless draw with Guinea in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Bafana skipper Ronwyn Petersen from SuperSport United is expected to regain the goalkeeper’s jersey from AmaZulu’s Veli Motha, while America-based forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane from Pietermaritzburg and on-form midfielder Goodman Mosele from Orlando Pirates are among other in-field players likely to get a run against the mighty French.
Broos says it will be important for his altered combination to show the same mentality that Friday’s unit displayed against the West Africans in his home country, but produce a much better finishing touch on Tuesday.
In that sense, the game against Guinea left him with mixed emotions — he saw plenty of commitment from his team, but too little composure in the danger area.
“I think we had a good performance. I saw a good game, I saw a good mentality. The only negative in that game is that we did not score,” Broos said in an audio recording released by the SA Football Association (Safa) on Sunday.
“We had six or seven good chances, so we certainly should have scored at least once. This is a bit negative, but for the rest, the mentality of all the players, the performance on the field, the way they played that game — it was a friendly game, but they did not treat it like that — they tried to win it, so I was very happy with the performance.
“It is difficult to fix the scoring; it is up to the players. You just can give them confidence and not talk too much about that [poor finishing] because otherwise it will be in their heads that ‘oh, we did not score, we did not score’.
“I mentioned it certainly in the after-match meeting, but that’s all. But the players know it too, that with the chances we had, we should have scored.
“We know that in South Africa we don’t have a top scorer — a guy who only needs one chance and he scores. But, again, it is something to do with confidence, because the day we start scoring the problem will be solved.”
Broos said he was otherwise impressed by the way his team refused to be bullied by the physically stronger West Africans on Friday.
He apparently took this as a great consolation after the striking shortcomings on the day.
“This is something we missed in the game against Ghana [unsuccessful World Cup qualifier last year].
“But we were there against Guinea, we were not pushed away, and this is what modern football is all about. It is not only about playing, but also about power. So, we progressed in that [aspect] and we can be optimistic about that for the qualifiers for Afcon if that happens again.”
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He confirmed there will be line-up changes tomorrow to give more players an opportunity to impress him for the good of the team.
“There will be a different team against France. There will be other players. But it will be a different team because I said before that I would give every player minutes,” he said.
“It started against Guinea, and I will do the same thing against France. I want to give them a chance to show their qualities.”
The French, who enjoyed a 2-1 win over 2023 Afcon hosts Ivory Coast on Friday, are also expected to try out some new faces today, in line with the exhibition nature of the match.
They will reportedly have lethal finisher Kylian Mbappe back in the line-up, too, after recovering from an ENT infection. While the French are preparing to defend their World Cup crown in Qatar later this year, Bafana are due to start the qualifiers for the Afcon tournament in June.