South Africa head coach Hugo Broos has confirmed that midfielder Thapelo Maseko will miss Wednesday’s AFCON 2023 semi-final clash against Nigeria due to a hamstring injury.
The Mamelodi Sundowns player sustained the injury during extra-time in Bafana’s quarter-final victory over Cape Verde.
Despite being a key part of the squad and featuring in all of Bafana’s matches at the tournament so far, Maseko’s unfortunate injury means his AFCON journey has come to an end.
Broos confirmed that Maseko has a grade three muscle injury, ruling him out for the remainder of the tournament.
However, Maseko will remain with the team rather than returning immediately to South Africa. Broos explained that logistical issues, including obtaining visas and flights, make it impractical to replace him at this stage of the competition.
South Africa will now face Nigeria without Maseko as they seek their first-ever victory against the Eagles at the AFCON. Despite their status as 1996 African champions, Bafana Bafana have suffered defeats in their last three encounters with Nigeria.
The absence of Maseko will undoubtedly be felt by the South African side, but they will look to overcome this setback and make history by defeating Nigeria in the semi-finals.