Down Memory Lane: When Mogorosi Ended Punch’s Bafana Career

Bongani Malunga

The UB Stadium was a happy hunting ground for the Zebras during the 2010s, the stadium was a fortress as some of the continent’s best teams could not get past the Stanley Tshosane led side at the time. On June 9, 2012 South Africa entered UB Stadium in a 2014 World Cup Qualifier that was billed to be a hard fought battle as the Zebras had made significant strides.

There were numerous duels on the day but the one which stood out was the tussle between Joel Mogorosi and Bafana Bafana leftback Punch Masenamela. Mogorosi made light work of Masenamela as he tossed and turned him on the flanks while leaving the Bafana fullback flat footed on many occasions.

Mogorosi found joy on the wing and became an outlet for Zebras’ forward forrays, they had realized that Punch could no longer deal with Mogorosi’s pace and trickery. After being bamboozled by Mogorosi for most of them match, Bafana interim coach Steve Khompela decided he had seen enough as he substituted Masenamela in the 60th minute as he had been booked, the risk of a second yellow card was well alive as he struggled to deal with Mogorosi.

At the time, Punch was one of South Africa’s best fullbacks but on that particular day Mogorosi effectively ended his international career. Although the game was not his last for Bafana, it set the wheels in motion for the end of his Bafana career as he played only three games more before being snubbed for more international call ups. The game ended 1-1 with goals from Morgan Gould and Ofentse Nato.