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Sweet dreams are made of this Lebo Mothiba and Percy Tau partnership

The pair are likely to lead the Bafana frontline for the foreseeable future

07 April 2019 - 00:06 By BARENG BATHO-KORTJAAS

Every soccer supporter worth his salt harbours hopes that Bafana Bafana will reclaim a place at the top table of African and world football.
That hope sprang eternal when the men's senior national soccer side secured their spot in the 32nd edition of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations - the continental tournament to be staged in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.
The spearhead of the Bafana attack appears potent. At 23 and 24 respectively, Lebo Mothiba and Percy Tau are likely to lead the Bafana frontline for the foreseeable future.
Mothiba has been a prolific poacher for his French club RC Strasbourg. He has hit nine goals and three assists in 29 games.
It is the kind of form which has seen jersey No12 enter his name in the list of 11 nominees for the best African footballer in France accolade.
The Marc-Vivien Foé award has been running since 2009.
Named in honour of the late Cameroon international midfielder Foé - who collapsed at the centre circle during the 2003 Confederation Cup clash against Colombia and was declared dead 45 minutes after paramedics failed to resuscitate him - it recognises the best performers from Africa in Ligue 1.
Mothiba also assisted the Alsatians in clinching the League Cup - their first title in 14 years.
The partnership between the twin strikers Mothiba and Tau has not reached a telepathy akin to that of, say, the chilli- hot Chile strike force of Marcelo Salas and Iván Zamorano that took the world by storm back in the 1990s.
The duo is also not blessed with the aerial ability or the physical aggression to terrorise defenders in similar fashion to their South American counterparts.
But they are brewing something that shows signs of blossoming into potency in Bafana colours.
Four goals in six games for Mothiba and seven strikes in 16 matches for Tau portrays a partnership bursting at the seams with promise.
These two have to maintain these numbers to propel Bafana forward.
Their social bond is strengthened by how their stories relate to how they worked hard to get to where they are.
Their stories are relevant in that while they recognise that they've got the talent, they have made it a point not to rest on their laurels.
These two have worked hard to push themselves to get to where they are.
Tau's journey to the English Premier League (EPL) took a detour.
His parent club Brighton Hove & Albion had to lend him to Royal Union St-Gillois, who have the same owner as Albion.
Hurdles such as a lack of national team caps hampered his EPL move.
We are all united in our belief that the Belgian second-tier side is just a springboard as Tau has shown time and again that he is destined for a bigger stage.
Surely Brighton would love to have him back but it is still the legalities that are hampering them.
That is why Tau played like a man possessed with his brilliant brace that brushed aside Libya and helped Bafana book their berth in Egypt.
That is why it is important for Bafana to excel in Egypt. Doing well means the quarters or semifinal stages of the showpiece. Such a strong showing will go a long way to influencing the rankings and in turn assist someone like Tau with regards to his work permit problems.
The kind of money Brighton shelled out to secure his services showed serious intent on their part that in him they saw somebody who was ready to upgrade to the next stage of his career.
That worked in his favour but he still fell short of the work-permit requirements because Bafana are outside the top 50 in the world rankings.
A stunning showing in the land of the Pharaohs by the green-and-yellow-clad men from the southern tip of Africa will move them closer to the top-50 bracket.
Sweet dreams are made of this Mothiba and Tau partnership...

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