Burnley’s Lyle Foster back in Bafana fold as MLS contingent miss out yet again

Forward Lyle Foster in action for Bafana Bafana

FILE - Forward Lyle Foster in action for Bafana Bafana. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP

Published May 15, 2024

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By Mthobisi Nozulela

Burnley striker Lyle Foster has made a return to the Bafana Bafana set-up, while Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Njabulo Blom miss out in coach Hugo Broos’ preliminary squad that is set to face Zimbabwe and Nigeria in World Cup qualifiers in June.

The 23-year-old Foster has not played in Bafana colours since October last year, and even had to miss out on the Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d'Ivoire after the striker withdrew from the team, citing mental health issues.

However, after withdrawing from the national squad, Foster went on to make regular appearances for his club, which resulted in Broos venting out his frustration with the situation, saying he could not understand what was going on.

Hlongwane and Blom however, despite featuring regularly and putting in impressive performances in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States, did not make the cut.

The duo were also not included in the Bafana team that earned a bronze medal in Côte d'Ivoire earlier this year.

Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa also misses out on the squad, despite being the DStv Premiership top goalscorer with 15 goals this season so far.

One Pirates player who was rewarded for his impressive form, however, was teenager Relebohile Mofokeng, who has turned heads since making his breakthrough at the club.

Bafana are currently second in Group C, with a total of three points after winning 2-1 against Benin and suffering a shock 2-0 loss to Rwanda in the qualifiers last year, and will be looking to put up a strong showing against Zimbabwe and the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

IOL Sports