Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele has explained why Baroka star striker Evidence Makgopa was omitted from the 20-man squad selected for the upcoming Cosafa Cup tournament.
The regional competition is set to run from 7-18 July in Gqeberha in the Nelson Mandela Bay.
Makgopa was the hero when he scored a brace on his debut during Bafana’s 3-2 win over Uganda in an international friendly game at the Orlando Stadium a fortnight ago.
Mkhalele has stated that the 21-year-old frontman was not included in the senior national team simply because he had been called up by the U23 head coach David Notoane for Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled to start from 23 July-8 August in Japan.
“First and foremost I would like to congratulate Evidence who has been selected to represent the U23 at the Tokyo Olympics. This shows that a player goes out there and makes sure that he grabs the opportunity that he gets with both hands,” Mkhalele told the media.
However, ‘Midnight Express’, as he is popularly known in the football cycles said Makgopa’s absence will give other players a chance to showcase what they can offer to the nation moving forward.
“For us, this is another opportunity to look for other players and see if they will make use of opportunities like this one,” concludes the former Amajita mentor.
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By Mauwane Raophala