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HomeAfrica‘They give me goosebumps when they play’: Mihlali Mayambela on Bafana duo

‘They give me goosebumps when they play’: Mihlali Mayambela on Bafana duo

Bafana Bafana winger Mihlali Mayambela has heaped praise on two of his national team teammates, saying they “give me goosebumps when they play”.

This comes after their standout performances at the ongoing AFCON tournament in Ivory Coast

Bafana are on the cusp of rewriting history after storming into the semi-finals of Africa’s premier competition. They beat Cape Verde 2-1 after a penalty shootout in Yamoussoukro on Saturday.

Coincidentally, in the last semi-final they played, South Africa faced Nigeria and lost that match 2-0. Ahead of the Super Eagles encounter, Mayambela, who plays for Cypriot outfit Aris Limassol, has picked two teammates who have impressed him during the ongoing tournament.


“It’s really hard to single out, but I will go for Yaya [Sphephelo Sithole] and Tebza [Teboho Mokoena],” Mayambela told FARPost.

Sphephelo Sithole during a Bafana Bafana training session at AFCON
Sphephelo Sithole

He describes the midfield pairing of Sithole and Mokoena as the “spine and core” of the team.

“I think they’ve shown maturity in this tournament from the first game until now. It really gives me goosebumps when I see them maturing like that, leading the team.

“Obviously, the other guys also [have done well], but they have been the spine and the core of the success we’ve had. I’m really, really, really happy for them.”

The Mamelodi Sundowns star, Mokoena, also contributed a goal and an assist. He was named man of the match in the 2-1 win over Morocco.

“Both of them, they play together in central midfield – the most crucial role. They cover a lot of distance and the fight against these big giants here in Africa. It’s really nice to see they’re competing. I just hope the sky will be the limit for them; that’s my only hope for them,” added Bafana winger Mayambela.

His comments highlight the individual brilliance that has shone through for Bafana Bafana at AFCON as they knocked out pre-tournament favourites Morocco and high-riding Cape Verde.

Sithole and Mokoena were widely lauded for their consistent performances, attracting interest from clubs abroad.