Broos adds Pirates’ Makgopa to Bafana squad

‘I was very happy that in the last four or five games, he has always played,’ said the Bafana head coach.

Hugo Broos has called up Orlando Pirates’ Soweto derby winner Evidence Makgopa to his squad for the 2026 World Cup qualifier against Benin and Rwanda.

The Bafana head coach called on Magkopa after France based Lebo Mothiba had to withdraw from the squad for the Group C games against Benin at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on November 18 and against Rwanda away from home on November 21.

Makgopa has scored twice in his last three DStv Premiership matches for Pirates, including the winner against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday at FNB Stadium. And the 23 year-old has been called up by Broos before, playing in five games in 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, where he scored in a 3-1 win in Ethiopia.

“He was with us a long time ago, we are very happy with him, he is playing at Pirates, and he is a little bit the same as Mothiba (in the way he plays),” Broos told reporters at the Tuks High Performance Centre in Pretoria yesterday.

“It is a pity after his injury that he didn’t play so much for Pirates but we have always followed him, and I was very happy that in the last four or five games, he has always played.”

A Bafana blow

Broos did admit that the loss of Mothiba, along with Lyle Foster, who is getting support at Burnley for mental health issues, is a blow for Bafana ahead of these two important games.

“It is a loss, I can’t say it is nothing, but it will not be an excuse if the results are not there against Benin and Rwanda,” added Broos.

“I am confident in the players who are there and I know we can win against both teams if we achieve our normal level.”

Broos also took the time to congratulate Mamelodi Sundowns for winning the inaugural Caf African Football League on Sunday, beating Wydad Casablanca 2-0 in the second leg of the final.

Sundowns have eight players in the Bafana squad, though there are doubts over the fitness of Grant Kekana and Thapelo Maseko.

“I have to congratulate the players of Sundowns for a fantastic performance,” said the Bafana head coach.