Bafana will do it this time – goal ace Tau

Stuart Baxter watches his players during the Bafana Bafana training session at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban
Stuart Baxter watches his players during the Bafana Bafana training session at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban

It is high time that Bafana Bafana become regular participants in major tournaments – and goal-poacher Percy Tau believes the squad is good enough to achieve that goal as they prepare to face lowly Seychelles in home and away African Nations Cup qualifiers over the next week.

Speaking in Brussels‚ where Tau has been starring for loan club Royale Union St Gilloise‚ the former Mamelodi Sundowns forward said if the national team could convert their chances‚ all other facets of their game were there.

“The squad is good enough to do that [qualify for Afcon]‚ we just need to get the goals,” he said.

“It was unfortunate that we drew [0-0] against Libya and it is time for us to collect maximum points.

“We want to go to Afcon‚ it is one of the biggest tournaments for us as the national team.”

Back-to-back wins over Seychelles would take Bafana Bafana to the brink of qualification for the Nations Cup in Cameroon in June/July after their 2-0 victory away in Nigeria laid the platform – a game in which Tau netted the second goal.

That was one of five strikes in 13 caps for the skilful forward‚ a record he wants to improve on.

“I am confident that we will do that [beat Seychelles]‚ but you know it is about getting the goals,” Tau said.

“There is a lot of teamwork that has to be done‚ but the squad is good enough.

“I always find pleasure in scoring goals or providing assists because that shows good progress for me.”

He backed that up with a goal and won a penalty for St Gilloise in their 2-0 victory over Kurt Abrahams’s Westerlo on Sunday.

Tau will be joined in the Bafana camp by Lebo Mothiba‚ who started the season with four goals in France’s Ligue 1 for Lille and new club Strasbourg.

He believes the emergence of the 22-year-old‚ who has two goals in two caps after netting against Angola and hosts Zambia in the Four Nations tournament in Ndola in March‚ is another positive sign for the national side.

“A lot of guys are doing well in Europe,” Tau said.

“For Lebo‚ we are proud that he has gone to a new club and is scoring goals‚ even though he was doing that at his previous club.

“It’s a good move for him and to hit the ground running is crucial.”

Bafana host Seychelles at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday‚ before travelling to the Indian Ocean island for the return game on Tuesday.

Coach Stuart Baxter has called up Cape Town City right-back Thamsanqa Mkhize and Orlando Pirates winger Thembinkosi Lorch as replacements for injured Thapelo Morena and Vincent Pule for the Seychelles showdown.

Lorch arrived and trained with Bafana on Tuesday, while Mkhize was expected to be part of the afternoon training session.

Baxter had said at his media conference on Monday that Pirates winger Pule and Mamelodi Sundowns right-back Morena (quad muscle) were to undergo scans to evaluate their fitness.

Evidently, both had to be withdrawn from the squad.

- Additional reporting by Marc Strydom, TimesLIVE