Mvala doubtful for Afcon, Zwane and Williams out of Lesotho preparatory match

Bafana Bafana defender Mothobi Mvala during the national team media open day at Lentelus sportsground on January 8 2024 in Stellenbosch.
Bafana Bafana defender Mothobi Mvala during the national team media open day at Lentelus sportsground on January 8 2024 in Stellenbosch.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mothobi Mvala is a serious doubt for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with a groin injury, while Ronwen Williams and Themba Zwane have been ruled out of the preparation match against Lesotho on Wednesday. 

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos said on Tuesday he is waiting for a medical report on the severity of Mvala’s injury, which will inform the decision whether he goes to the Ivory Coast. 

When he announced his final squad for the tournament, Broos included Tapelo Xoki as one of the three players on stand-by, and the Orlando Pirates defender may be roped in if Mvala doesn’t respond to treatment. 

“The biggest problem for us is Mothobi, he has a groin injury,” said Broos. 

“The doctor is with him and we will wait for the medical report. We are not sure he will go with us to Ivory Coast. 

“We can’t take him with us to Ivory Coast if he can’t train for the next 10 days. In that case then it will be better to take someone else. I really hope it is not so bad and with a few days rest I can count on him for our opening match against Mali next Tuesday.” 

Broos said it will be a blow if Myala doesn’t make it to the tournament. 

“It can’t make me happy when a guy like Mothobi is out of the team. When Mothobi plays he gives 100% and when he trains he gives 150%. He is a guy you can always count on and in a tournament like Afcon these types of guys are very important.” 

With regards to Williams and Zwane, Broos said they will be rested for the preparation match against Lesotho, which will be played behind closed doors, and they will be ready for the Afcon opener against Mali. 

“The small problem is Ronwen Williams, who didn't train with us for the past four days, but the medical report is positive. He will not play against Lesotho but he will be ready for next Tuesday and there is no doubt about that. 

“The second small problem is Themba Zwane. He got a kick at training. He wanted to train on Tuesday but it was better not to. There will be no problem for him next week but he is out of the Lesotho game.” 

Reflecting on the four-day camp in Stellenbosch, Broos said they ticked most of the preparation boxes. 

“I can be happy with what happened over the past four days in our camp in Stellenbosch. I saw a group of players who are motivated and the intensity of the training was very good.” 

Broos said the result against Lesotho is not important for him. 

“For me it is not even a friendly game, it is a preparation game. This is a game to prepare for what will follow next week and for me the result is not so important against Lesotho.  

“Even in the worst-case scenario that we lose the game, for me it will not be the moment to doubt or criticise because I know what we did over the past four days in Stellenbosch. 

“The only thing I want to see is players wanting to win the game and that’s all. This is a preparation game for me and that’s the most important thing.”


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