Preview: South Africa vs Eswatini

South Africa’s national football team, Bafana Bafana, is gearing up for some important friendly matches as part of their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations that take place in Ivory Coast in January early next year.

South Africa

South Africa is set to play two friendly matches this month in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers that take place next month. Hugo Broos will not accept any complacency from his players but will want them to approach these games with focus and determination as if they were competitive matches.

It has been a while since Bafana has a squad full of quality players which leaves a lot of optimism around the current squad and their capabilities. Broos will use these matches to fine tune his strategies, test out different tactics and evaluate the squad’s performance. Playing with the right mentality is essential for Bafana Bafana in these upcoming matches as it sets the tone going forward.

The midfield will be an important area for Broos to focus on as he tries to find the right combinations to best suit his style of play. Njabulo Blom who plays for St Louis in the MLS has been producing top performances and will play alongside Portugal-based Sphephelo Sithole, Teboho Mokoena and the highly rated Sibongiseni Mthethwa. These players have so much potential and quality which offers options for Broos when coming up with the right gameplan.

Bafana Bafana’s strike force is drawn almost exclusively from their ‘Foreign Legion’, could blossom into the country’s most explosive attacking unit yet. Coach Hugo Broos has named forwards such as Mihlali Mayambela (Aris, Cyprus), Lyle Foster (Burnley, England), Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg, France) and Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota, USA) in his latest squad. Mothiba has been injury-free and has been playing the best football of his career. Percy Tau, a prominent player for Bafana Bafana, has pulled out and will not be available due to personal reasons. His absence may be felt, as he is a key player for the national team.

Bafana Bafana are well equipped to take on any challenge and will be interesting to see how well these players link up and complement each other on the field of play. Hugo Broos must play for the win in both matches as it helps with the morale and togetherness of the squad. 


Eswatini get ready to face Bafana Bafana for the seventh time since 2007. Sihlangu Semnikati have failed to record a single victory against Bafana Bafana throughout their previous six meetings, losing five and picking up a draw.

Coach Dominic Kunene will not focus on past results but rather on what they need to do to give off a strong performance against a well put together Bafana Bafana squad. Eswatini’s physicality can help them win battles in midfield where Bafana will look to dominate as well as in the defence. Their players should aim to maintain their fitness levels throughout the match to sustain this advantage.

Having a clear game plan and strategy can help make the most of their abilities. They should be organized defensively and look for opportunities to counterattack effectively. Since Eswatini may not create many scoring chances, they should focus on retaining possession when they have the ball. This can help control the tempo of the game and limit Bafana Bafana’s attacking opportunities.

Unity and teamwork are critical for a side like Eswatini. They should support each other on and off the pitch and play with a sense of pride for their nation. While they may not have the same level of recognition or resources as some other nations, their determination and willingness to take on challenges can make them a formidable opponent on the field.

Eswatini’s commitment to attacking football and focusing on collective performances can help them continue to grow and improve in the world of international football.


In any football match, anything can happen, and the underdogs often surprise. This will be an intense battle for both nations, but I believe Bafana Bafana will have that extra quality to come away victorious in the end.

Written by Marc Strydom