Bafana player ratings: Mudau, Sithole stand strong against Nigeria in Uyo

SPHEPHELO Sithole delivered a superb pass to Themba Zwane to set up Bafana’s goal against Nigeria. Photo: BackpagePix

SPHEPHELO Sithole delivered a superb pass to Themba Zwane to set up Bafana’s goal against Nigeria. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 9, 2024


BAFANA Bafana looked well on their way to beating Nigeria following Themba Zwane’s first-half goal in Friday’s Fifa World Cup qualifier in Uyo.

But it was not to be as they conceded an equaliser in the first minute of the second half, and held on for a crucial Group C point in a 1-1 draw.

Here is how we rated the Bafana players...

Ronwen Williams: 7/10

The national team captain was always going to have a difficult night aerially with Nigeria’s two-metre-tall striker Paul Onuacho in the box.

But ‘Ronza’ produced two splendid saves in the second half to salvage a point for Bafana on the road.

— SABC Sport (@SABC_Sport) June 7, 2024

Khuliso Mudau: 8

The Mamelodi Sundowns fullback was tasked with dealing with Nigeria’s most dangerous outlet, Ademola Lookman, and did not buckle under the pressure.

Mudau was Bafana’s best player on the night as he won six of the eight ground duels he was involved in, while keeping a 94 percent passing accuracy. He was a constant threat and option for Bafana on the wings as well.

Mothobi Mvala: 5

Mvala’s psychological well-being had been questioned ahead of this encounter, but the aggressive defender quickly settled into the game and it worked wonders for his confidence.

The Sundowns centre-back took it on himself to deal with the threat of Onuacho all over the pitch, which saw him exposed on several occasions, and he was held off by Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, who scored the equaliser in the 46th minute.

Siyabonga Ngezana: 6

Romania-based Ngezana donned the Bafana kit for the first time since 2018 and fitted in like a glove next to Mvala in the heart of defence.

Ngezana, although with a few shaky moments in the beginning, showed immense growth in match reading and anticipation throughout the game to cover a marauding Mudau while protecting the box.

Aubrey Modiba: 6

Modiba was instrumental in Bafana’s positive first-half performance, but struggled to deal with the speed and trickery of Samuel Chukwueze in the second stanza.

Sphephelo Sithole: 7

‘Yaya’ has become one of the most important players of the Hugo Broos era, and showed why again with yet another solid performance.

A man known for his ability to dictate matches and win challenges showed a different side to his game as he set up the first goal with a blinding pass in the first half.

Teboho Mokoena: 6

Mokoena was largely restricted to defensive duties in this encounter and could not express himself fully, except for a free-kick that hit the crossbar in the first half, while he had a few other efforts on goal.

Themba Zwane: 6

‘Mshishi’ had an average match by his standards as he drifted in and out of the game, but managed to get himself on the score-sheet once again for Bafana with a superb finish as he danced in from the left and across the face of the Nigerian defence and rifled his shot into the back of the net.

— SABC Sport (@SABC_Sport) June 7, 2024

Percy Tau: 5

Tau was guilty of missing chances and struggled to influence Bafana’s attack, and was subsequently substituted off in the second half.

Elias Mokwana: 5

The energetic winger showed bright signs, but his composure in the final third let him down on several occasions as he wasted a few opportunities on goal.

Iqraam Rayners: 5

Rayners had a frustrating night offensively, and despite his decent work-rate while pressing, he couldn’t trouble the defenders enough.

Oswin Appollis: 5

Appollis was introduced into a high-intensity match and struggled to catch up, but did enough to help Bafana earn a point.

Lyle Foster: 5

Foster’s return to the national team was not as glamorous as he’d probably hoped, as he was largely restricted to helping Bafana defend in the second half.

Thapelo Morena: 5

Morena’s 10 minutes on the pitch saw him forced to play according to instruction, which meant that he wasn’t able to affect the game in the best way he knew, which is to attack.

Bathusi Aubaas: Did not play long enough for a rating.