Nigeria vs South Africa: Broos names Bafana Bafana’s final 23-man squad for Super Eagles clash

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has revealed his final 23-man squad for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Initially, Broos had announced a 36-man preliminary squad that featured some new faces, including Thabo Moloisane, Devin Titus, and Relebohile Mofokeng. However, only Mofokeng made it into the final selection.

Burnley striker Lyle Foster has also returned for the first time since his absence from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations squad. Foster was excluded from Bafana Bafana's squad that secured bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast in February.

He requested to be omitted due to health issues that sidelined him for seven weeks at Burnley as he sought treatment.

Bafana Bafana will take on the Super Eagles on 7 June at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, followed by a home match against the Warriors on 11 June at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Currently, they are in second place in Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, having defeated Benin 2-1 but subsequently losing 2-0 to Rwanda on a waterlogged pitch.

South Africa's final 23-man squad

Goalkeepers:

Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United) Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu).

Defenders:

Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Orlando Pirates), Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Ngezana (FCSB, Romania), Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns).

Midfielders:

Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Jayden Adams (Stellenbosch FC), Bathusi Aubaas (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sphephelo Sithole (Tondela, Portugal).

Forwards:

Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Elias Mokwana (Sekhukhune United), Lyle Foster (Burnley, England), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt), Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates).

13 players dropped from Broos' provisional squad

By announcing his final 23-man squad for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Broos has trimmed his selection by cutting 13 players from the initial squad.

Broos, who led South Africa to their first Africa Cup of Nations medal since 2002, experimented with a different squad in the previous international break but has now reverted to more familiar faces.

However, he has introduced seven changes compared to his AFCON squad, with Siyabonga Ngezana, Relebohile Mofokeng, and the returning Foster standing out as notable new additions.

Broos has also had to remove several players from his preliminary list, including Kaizer Chiefs stars Bruce Bvuma and Given Msimango.

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos
Photo by Icon Sport

Additionally, he omitted four Orlando Pirates players: Innocent Maela, Thabiso Monyane, Evidence Makgopa, and Tapelo Xoki.

Below are all 13 players who were cut:

Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates, South Africa),  Given Msimango (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Thabiso Monyane (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Terrence Mashego (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Thabo Maloisane (Stellenbosch, South Africa), Grant Margeman (Supersports United, South Africa), Tshepancg Moremi (AmaZulu, South Africa), Evidence Makgopa (Orlando Pirates), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Devin Titus (Stellenbosch, South Africa), Mlondi Mbanjwa (AmaZulu FC, South Africa) and Tapelo Xoki (Orlando Pirates, South Africa).

Lyle Foster returns to Bafana Bafana squad after overcoming health Issues

Foster's exclusion from the Bafana Bafana squad that won bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast earlier this year was a significant talking point.

His absence was due to health issues that had kept him sidelined at Burnley for seven weeks. However, Broos on Thursday announced Foster's return to the squad, addressing the circumstances surrounding his previous omission.

“His health problems are over,” the coach explained as he announced his squad on SABC Sport.

“And I know I was at one stage very unhappy because we got the news Lyle was not ready and had a mental problem and suddenly he started playing with Burnley [ahead of AFCON].”

“So we had contact with [the club in] England again and they said, ‘Yeah, but he's not ready'. And also Lyle wrote a letter to us that he did not want to go to AFCON. That's why he was not with us in Ivory Coast.”

“After that, for [the friendlies against Andorra and Algeria] in March I made contact again and again they said, ‘No — it's better you don't call him because he's still not 100%'. “But he still played every game for Burnley, so it was not easy to accept that. But OK, I followed the medical reasons for why I couldn't take him.

Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana
Photo by Icon Sport

“But now, everything was OK. I phoned him [Foster] and we had a good chat. I called [then still Burnley manager Vincent] Kompany and we had a good chat. So there are no problems any more and that's the reason Lyle is with us again.”

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
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Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.