Helman Mkhalele Proud of his side Despite Cosafa Cup Exit

Bafana Bafana coach Helman Mkhalele has expressed his satisfaction with his squad’s performance in the three Cosafa games that they played without experiencing a defeat before crashing out.

South Africa was knocked out of the tournament after playing two consecutive draws and won their last match against Eswatini thanks to an early goal by Thabang Sibanyoni. Despite the win, they were denied a spot in the semi-finals following Mozambique’s 3-1 win against Botswana. The Mambas advanced on goal difference as they finished on equal points (5) with the hosts.

Reflecting on the game, Mkhalele said he is proud of his youthful squad’s performance, the character and determination that they displayed adding that they played a good game when they defeated Eswatini even though it was not enough for them to move on to the next round.

“I am proud of the effort, the character and the humility of these boys. I’m really proud of them,” he said.

Mkhalele also mentioned that he noticed a number of players who looked to be ready to be part of the national team squad that is currently playing in the 2026 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

“I would say as the technical staff, I am quite happy with some of the boys that I have seen here, that I believe raised their hands in the three games in terms of getting closer to the senior Bafana Bafana team that plays in the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (under head coach Hugo Broos). They raised their hands, and I am quite happy because this tournament will go a long way in us knowing that there are players we identified here who can step in,” the coach concluded.