Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Brian Baloyi has explained why he is concerned about the depth of the national team at the Africa Cup of Nations.
For the past two matches, coach Hugo Broos did not change the starting line-up as they qualified for the round of 16 where they will face the 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinalist on Tuesday next week.
Baloyi, like many others, is baffled at why a player of Khanyisa Mayo’s standing was left behind since he is joint-top scorer with seven goals along with Peter Shalulile in the DStv Premiership.
“When you look at Sphephelo Sithole, if he gets an injury or bookings, we might be in trouble,” said Baloyi, who was in goals when Bafana lost the AFCON final to Egypt in 1998 in Burkina Faso.
“Teboho Mokoena is still there, but when you look on the bench, we are thin in terms of replacement. You look at Themba Zwane, without him (we are in trouble). You look at Percy (Tau, same). We still have a long way to go if we are building.
“I would love to see us, this squad, going all the way at least into the quarters or semis and that would be good build-up for the qualifications for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“But currently, for me, there are a lot of players that we feel should have made the team. I still don’t know how [Khanyisa] Mayo is at home, but again looking at the players that are there, it looks like our first eleven is all we have.
“When you look at the substitute, when you look at the heat there, when it comes to crunch time, most of them, the legs are going to be gone because (some) have had 180 minutes to 270 minutes.
“As we go, there will be more tired big heads. Not only those positions I’m worried about, but I’m also worried about Ronwen Williams (in goals). If anything had to happen, I’m not sure if the boys on the bench have the guts and personality to carry the nation.”
Bafana will meet Morocco at Laurent Pokou Stadium on Tuesday (22:00).