Bafana Bafana Hugo Broos

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has announced his final 23-man squad to face Morocco in an AFCON 2023 qualifier early in June. Photo: Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana final AFCON 2023 squad: Who was the BIGGEST casualty?

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has announced his final 23-man squad to face Morocco in an AFCON 2023 qualifier early in June.

Bafana Bafana Hugo Broos

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has announced his final 23-man squad to face Morocco in an AFCON 2023 qualifier early in June. Photo: Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has announced his final 23-man squad to face Morocco in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier early in June.

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The South African side will travel to the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat for the clash on Thursday, 9 June.

Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).

Broos had initially named 38 players in a preliminary squad to prepare for the crucial encounter.

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That number has now been trimmed down to 23, with, as always, a few surprise inclusions – and exclusions – as has become the norm under the 70-year-old Belgian mentor.

While some players were ruled out through injury, the list of casualties makes for interesting reading.

Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly is one such players sidelined through injury, while reported new Amakhosi signing Ashley du Preez also failed to make the final cut.

That was a similar story with Glamour Boy goalkeeper Brandon Petersen.

Champions Mamelodi Sundowns had three players miss out: Aubrey Modiba, Lebohang Maboe and Thapelo Morena.

Scroll down for the 15 players in total who missed out.

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South Africa have been drawn in Group K, which also includes Liberia.

Bafana Bafana’s hopes of qualifying for the 2023 AFCON tournament received a massive boost last week when the fourth team in the group, Zimbabwe, was suspended by FIFA and as a result won’t participate in the qualifiers.

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The top two teams in each group will head to the tournament to be held in the Ivory Coast from 23 June to 23 July next year.

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According to the most recent FIFA rankings, Morocco are in 24th place in the world (and second in Africa), while Bafana Bafana are 69th (and 13th).

Liberia are a lowly 149th (and 46th) and really shouldn’t pose any threat whatsoever … !

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BAFANA BAFANA’S PRELIMINARY SQUAD

Goalkeepers (4): Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Brandon Petersen (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders (14): Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lyle Lakay (Mamelodi Sundowns), Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bandile Shandu (Orlando Pirates), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Thibang Phete (Belenenses, Portugal), Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs), Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City FC), Terrence Mashego (Cape Town City FC), Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United), Thabani Zuke (Golden Arrows), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch FC)

Midfielders (10): Spephele Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Thabang Monare (Orlando Pirates), Fortune Makaringe (Orlando Pirates), Yusuf Maart (Sekhukhune United), Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs), Jesse Donn (SuperSport United), Mduduzi Mdantsane (Cape Town City FC), Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers (10): Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Ashley du Preez (Stellenbosch FC), Keagan Dolly (Kaizer Chiefs), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City FC), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids, Egypt), Lyle Foster (Westerlo, Belgium), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota FC, USA), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt), Pule Mmodi (Golden Arrows)

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BAFANA BAFANA’S FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers (3): Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders (9): Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lyle Lakay (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bandile Shandu (Orlando Pirates), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Thibang Phete (Belenenses, Portugal), Taariq Fielies (Cape Town City FC), Terrence Mashego (Cape Town City FC)

Midfielders (4): Spephele Sithole (Belenenses, Portugal), Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates), Yusuf Maart (Sekhukhune United), Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs)

Strikers (7): Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Evidence Makgopa (Baroka FC), Khanyisa Mayo (Cape Town City FC), Fagrie Lakay (Pyramids, Egypt), Lyle Foster (Westerlo, Belgium), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Minnesota FC, USA), Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt)

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PLAYERS TO HAVE MISSED OUT ON FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers (1): Brandon Petersen (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders (5): Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs), Luke Fleurs (SuperSport United), Thabani Zuke (Golden Arrows), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch FC)

Midfielders (6): Thabang Monare (Orlando Pirates), Fortune Makaringe (Orlando Pirates), Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Jesse Donn (SuperSport United), Mduduzi Mdantsane (Cape Town City FC), Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers (3): Ashley du Preez (Stellenbosch FC), Keagan Dolly (Kaizer Chiefs), Pule Mmodi (Golden Arrows)

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More to follow…