Pirates star’s Nedbank Cup final heroics add to Bafana Bafana coach’s selection dilemma

By Joel Oliver

South Africa coach Hugo Broos will now be under pressure to field Orlando Pirates youngster Relebohile Mofokeng following his match winning performance in the Nedbank Cup final.

Mofokeng came in as a second half substitute in the final against Mamelodi Sundowns and run the Masandawana defence rugged before slotting home the winner in the final minute to complete a turnaround for the Buccaneers who won 2-1. 

The goal would not have come at a good time for the 19-year-old as he earned his first call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad when Broos named him in the squad for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Riveiro ramps up the pressure on Broos

“That’s why the national team coach [Hugo Broos] is getting attracted by his quality. There is going to be an improvement. Hopefully, everyone can enjoy him in the national team,” Pirates coach Jose Riveiro said of the youngster, adding pressure on Broos, 

“Fantastic stats in his level, improving week after week. He’s getting really complete as a football player, and the future looks bright for him,” added Riveiro, as per FarPost.

Mofokeng seems to be getting better with time and is coming off a good season with his club.

Can Bafana Bafana feed off the hype?

The School of Excellence graduate has scored five goals and provided six assists in 38 games in all competitions in 2023-24, winning two trophies, and he can now turn attention to international duties.

Broos will now be under the spotlight with Bafana Bafana fans hoping the player can feed off the hype and deliver for the national team, either as a starter or off the bench, as witnessed in the cup final.

The Bafana Bafana coach can expect lots of questions from the media over Mofokeng in the build-up to the two games, which will only ramp up the pressure for his selection.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.