AFCON: Percy Tau Snubbed, 2 Sundowns Stars Named To Take Penalties for Bafana Ahead of Namibia Tie

AFCON: Percy Tau Snubbed, 2 Sundowns Stars Named To Take Penalties for Bafana Ahead of Namibia Tie

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at January 21, 2024 at 11:04 AM
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P. Tau
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  • South Africa will cross swords with neighbours Namibia in a crucial clash
  • Percy Tau missed a penalty in the game and could be sidelined for spot-kick duties
  • Two players from Mamelodi Sundowns have been suggested as candidates for the role

South Africa faced a significant setback in their opening match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations against Mali despite asserting dominance for the majority of the game.

Quick goals from Hamari Traore and Lassine Sinayoko secured a 2-0 victory for the Eagles, giving Bafana Bafana a challenging start to the AFCON after missing out in the last edition.

South Africa, Bafana Bafana, Namibia, Mali, AFCON
South Africa's starting lineup against the Eagles of Mali in their Group E opener at the 2023 AFCON. Photo by FADEL SENNA.
Source: Getty Images

The outcome might have been different if talisman Percy Tau had capitalised on his first-half penalty opportunity in the 19th minute after South Africa was awarded a spot-kick.

Tau, who has been in exceptional goal-scoring form for Al Ahly, unfortunately, sent his 12-yard attempt soaring over the crossbar, according to GOAL.

Despite additional chances for Hugo Broos' charges, particularly in the first half, their failure to convert proved costly as their opponents from West Africa turned the game on its head and sealed the win with second-half proficiency, per Daily Maverick.

Who should take penalties for Bafana Bafana?

Facing a crucial second group game against Namibia on Sunday, South Africa now grapples with the question of who will step up for a penalty if the need arises.

Senior journalist Mazola Molefe from national broadcaster SABC has offered insights into the best candidate to assume penalty duties for Bafana Bafana.

"Percy is usually a quality penalty taker, but I think the technique was a bit wrong on the day," he told Sports Brief.
Molefe went ahead with possible penalty candidates aside from Percy Tau: "Usually, a guy like Teboho Mokoena can take penalties, Zakhele Lepasa, if he is on the pitch, can take penalties. So there are options.
He continued: "[Aubrey] Modiba can take good penalties for his club side, Mamelodi Sundowns. Thapelo Maseko. There are a lot of options; it just depends on the day. Even Themba Zwane, the Sundowns captain, is a good penalty-taker. I am surprised he didn't take it on the day and rather gave it to Percy Tau. So there are options.
"I guess it's a matter of who is confident. I think Percy, in that moment, felt confident enough to take the penalty instead of allowing any of his teammates who take penalties for their club to do it.
He concluded: "I'm sure it's something that has been discussed, so we could still Percy, or we could see a different penalty taker but my option will be Themba Zwane or Teboho Mokoena."

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Namibia star warns South Africa

Sports Brief also reported that Namibia's goal-scorer against Tunisia, Deon Hotto, has issued a warning to Hugo Broos's team in anticipation of their upcoming clash.

Mali currently leads Group E with four points, Namibia follows in second place with three points, Tunisia sits in third with one point, and South Africa has yet to secure a point in the group standings.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.