AFCON 2023: Bafana Bafana’s Percy Tau Breaks Silence After Costly Penalty Miss Against Mali

AFCON 2023: Bafana Bafana’s Percy Tau Breaks Silence After Costly Penalty Miss Against Mali

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Percy Tau missed a first-half penalty in South Africa's 2023 AFCON clash against Mali
  • The Bafana Bafana forward is still "hurt" after the game, which they lost 2-0
  • South Africa face neighbours Namibia on Sunday, looking to keep their tournament hopes alive

Percy Tau and South Africa had an incredible first half in their Group E opener at the 2023 AFCON against Mali.

Their impressive showing earned them a penalty, and Tau stepped up to take it but blazed it over the bar. The miss haunted Bafana Bafana as they conceded twice in the second half to lose their first match in the tournament.

South Africa, Mali, Bafana Bafana, 2023 AFCON, Percy Tau, Teboho Mokoena, Hugo Broos
Percy Tau had chances to score in the first half for South Africa against Mali. Photo by Fadel Senna.
Source: Getty Images

The Al Ahly star missed the penalty in the 19th minute after Evidence Makgopa was fouled in the box.

The penalty came as a result of Bafana Bafana's tireless display in the first half, and it will feel like a missed opportunity for the 1996 champions.

Hugo Broos' side will face Namibia on Sunday, January 21, knowing anything other than a win will be catastrophic. Moreover, the Brave Warriors are in good spirits after upsetting 2004 champions Tunisia.

They also have to face a Tunisian side, ranked third in Africa, per FIFA, so they have an uphill task to progress to the knockout round.

Percy Tau on penalty miss

Speaking after the game, the Al Ahly forward is still "hurt" by the penalty miss.

“At the moment, it still hurts,” he said. “But I’ll try and gather myself because we still have two games to play. I still have [hope that we will progress] even though it hurts right now,” via Far Post.

The West Africans dominated the second half as South Africa faded. Tau said the miss changed the game.

“We should have scored a goal. I missed a penalty, which gave them the confidence to keep going. If we scored a goal, it would be a better game; it would change the game entirely."

The last time Bafana Bafana went past the group stage of the tournament was in 2019 when they eliminated hosts Egypt in the Round of 16 before losing to Nigeria in the quarter-final.

Hugo Broos on Percy Tau's penalty

Sports Brief fear earlier reported on South Africa coach Hugo Broos explaining why Percy Tau took the penalty instead of Teboho Mokoena.

It seemed Mokoena would be the one to bury the penalty, but moments later, Tau was getting ready to take it.

“There are three guys for the game, it was Aubrey [Modiba], Mokoena and Percy,” he said. “And they decide on the pitch. It’s not up to me, the one who feels best has to take the penalty."
Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.