Bafana ‘hungry’ for African success

Henry

Ronwen Williams’ goalkeeping heroics against the Cape Verde Islands last weekend saw Bafana Bafana qualify for the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in more than 20 years.

Now the whole team will have to be at their best if they want to deal with Nigeria at the Stade de la Paix on Wednesday evening.

After all, South Africa has never been able to finish with the Super Eagles in the African tournament.

Coach Hugo Broos also agrees that his players will have to perform better now than in the quarter-final. He specifically labeled the showdown against the Cape Verde Islands as the team’s worst performance of the tournament.

“But in the same breath, winning is probably more important than how you win. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can cause a stir on Wednesday because we are hungry to play in Sunday’s final,” said the 71-year-old Belgian.

Broos has tasted African success before – he held up the silverware with Cameroon in 2017.

According to the former player, he is not a superstitious person, but there are similarities between South Africa and Cameroon’s Africa Cup runs.

“Oddly enough, both teams follow more or less the same path. Nobody believed in Cameroon at the time either and we walked away with the laurels. Let’s hope that South Africa’s campaign will turn out in the same way.”

However, he believes that the Bafana players already deserve a pat on the back.

“Very few people believed in the team, but the players believed that anything was possible. To play in the semi-final is a very good thing for South African football.”

Broos believes that the good performance is an excellent starting point for renewed interest in local football.

“I hope that everyone is now convinced that the quality of the PSL (Premier Soccer League) must improve. We will definitely have to work on it.”

The semi-final starts at 19:00 on Wednesday.

  • The teams’ path to the semi-final:

South Africa:

0-2 against Mali

4-0 against Namibia

  • against Tunisia

2-0 against Morocco

  • against the Cape Verde Islands (South Africa wins penalty shootout 2-1)

Nigeria:

  • against Equatorial Guinea

1-0 against Ivory Coast

1-0 against Guinea-Bissau

2-0 against Cameroon

1-0 against Angola.