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Blow for Bafana as Brooks ruled out of Cosafa Cup quarter against Moz

At only 21 years of age, Ethan Brooks is considered a senior player in the youthful squad.
At only 21 years of age, Ethan Brooks is considered a senior player in the youthful squad.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana have suffered a major blow. Midfielder Ethan Brooks has been ruled out of their Cosafa Cup quarterfinal clash against Mozambique.

SA will join the Southern Africa regional showpiece in the last-eight by hosting neighbours Mozambique at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, Durban, on Wednesday (5pm).

The youthful and inexperienced side will be led by national team assistant coach Helman Mkhalele, as head coach Hugo Broos is giving the tournament a miss.

Mkhalele said Brooks has a minor knee injury, but SA are hoping he will recover in time for the semifinals.

“The preparations went well, even though we had challenges related to some of the injuries we have had in our preparation,” he said.

“But for now, in the last stage of our preparation, I’m happy to announce the whole squad is back except Ethan Brooks.

“[We] hope that in the next game, after Mozambique, he will be ready.”

Though only 21 years of age, Brooks is regarded as a senior player in Mkhalele's youthful squadbecause he is fielded in Broos’s line-ups for bigger stages, such as the Africa Cup of Nations and Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

If Bafana fail to beat Mozambique, they will still progress to the Cosafa Cup Plate semifinals.

Mkhalele said their aim is to defend the title SA won in Gqeberha last year.

“I would say Mozambique are going to be a tough challenge because of their competitiveness and physicality. We need to make sure we overcome that challenge,” the coach said.

“What would make this game interesting is that we know that Mozambique will be coming out for revenge because we beat them in the semifinals of the previous edition of Cosafa Cup.”


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