The Bafana Bafana team has gone through a lot of changes in a year as some were unnecessary. The team has now failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia due to a lot of changes that were done by the controlling body SAFA. Some decisions that were made include coaching personnel and the players. The defenders who were doing well were also shown the door for the new ones who came in and failed the team.
Let us look at the previous defenders who did well for Bafana Bafana:
Bafana Bafana has a lot of talented defenders capable of making sure the team does not concede a lot of goals. The defenders in South Africa’s national team are from various teams in the PSL and a few from European teams but recently the defense of Bafana Bafana is made up of PSL players. The core of the defenders are experienced as they campaigned in different continental competitions including the CAF competitions, Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.
The heart of defense consists of the captain of the team Thulani Hlatshwayo who is also the captain of Bidvest Wits FC. Thulani has shown a lot of growth in football and is one of the best leaders on the field of play. He has recently won the PSL title and was the team captain when Bafana Bafana defeated Nigeria for the first time in an official match in Nigeria. Thulani is the best defender the country has at the moment and is going far if his form keeps on growing each and every season.
Another key defender in the team is Mulomowandau Eric Mathoho of Kaizer Chiefs FC. Eric is one of the top defenders in the PSL without any doubt. His career has been hampered by injuries but as soon as he recovers he goes back to his best form all the time. He was part of the under-23 team that went to the Olympics as a senior member and was very valuable for the team. Mathoho is going places and very vital for Bafana’s qualification campaigns that are currently underway.
The right back position has a lot of talented players who are all equal to the task when given the opportunity to play for the national team. Currently the position is occupied by Ramahlwe Mphahlele of Kaizer Chiefs who has been doing very well for his team Chiefs. Ramahlwe was previously with Mamelodi Sundowns before joining Chiefs and was the team captain at Sundowns. His move to Kaizer chiefs was a surprising one as he was playing CAF football at Sundowns and Chiefs were still suspended to take part in CAF competitions. He has a lot of experience against top African opponents as he faced them before with Mamelodi Sundowns. It was evident in a match against Nigeria that Ramahlwe was ready to play for the national team permanently.
Another player in the right back position is Abbubaker Mobara of Orlando Pirates. The lad has played football at the highest level and is one of the best performers at Pirates. He is the reason Pirates are going to play SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup final in Durban. Abbubaker was also part of the under-23 team that went to play in the Olympic Games where he man marked Brazilian star Neymar out of the game. Abbubaker can also play in the midfield as he sometimes does at Pirates.
The left back position consists of Teboho Langerman who was part of the Mamelodi Sundowns team that won the CAF Champions League. He has grown into one of the best left backs in African football. Teboho is very good at defending and also going forward as he has scored a few goals for Sundowns and it is only time when he does the same at Bafana Bafana.
The team that played the final two matches against Senegal which were deciding matches consisted of new defenders who were never part of the team that won the first match against Senegal before FIFA awarded a replay in favor of Senegal.