Bafana Africa Cup of Nations hopes hang by a thread ahead of Namibia clash

All eyes on Hugo Broos as Bafana Bafana’s Afcon hopes hangs on the balance. Picture: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

All eyes on Hugo Broos as Bafana Bafana’s Afcon hopes hangs on the balance. Picture: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

Published Jan 21, 2024


Bafana Bafana’s hopes of making the knockout stages of the Africa Cup Of Nations (Afcon) hang by a thread as they prepare to take on Namibia in their penultimate group stage match tonight.

The 1996 champions will battle Namiba’s Brave Warriors at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo, Ivory Coast at 10pm, looking to collect their first win of the tournament.

Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has the biggest headache since taking over the reins of the national team and now he looks to save the side from further embarrassment and probably his job.

All eyes will be on his team selection after a few of his most trusted players slumped to disappointing performances last time out.

The familiarity factor between Namibia and Bafana ensures that the match is billed to be one of the most entertaining clashes in the competition so far.

South Africa will kick off against Namibia in last place in Group E with Tunisia third, their opponents Namibia in second while Mali occupy the top spot, which means a win for Bafana could lift them up the table if results go their way.

The word coming out of the Bafana camp is that of positivity and confidence despite their discouraging defeat against The Eagles.

For Namibia, if their historic win wasn’t enough to awaken a dream, the R300 000 bonuses they received as a consequence will surely do the job as they prepare to take on fellow Cosafa opposition.

The meeting of Bafana and the Brave Warriors brings about one-on-one duels all over the pitch with familiar names also clashing.

The most dangerous men on either side will undoubtedly be Namibia captain and Mamelodi Sundowns man Peter Shalulile while Bafana’s hopes rest on the shoulders of Percy Tau.

Tau was recently crowned the Men’s Inter-Club Player of the Year at the Caf Awards, a tag he’s under pressure to live up to in the biggest spectacle on the continent.

The 29-year-old winger has been in stellar form for his side Al Ahly and recently took part in the FIFA Club World Cup where he managed to find the back of the net.

In the opposing dugout, the likes of Mothobi Mvala and perhaps Grant Kekana will look to shut down their teammate from Sundowns Shalulile who has been a reliable source of goals for many years now.

Although he has had an injury-interrupted first half of the 2023/2024 campaign, the 30-year-old has still managed to score nine goals and assisted two more times in the 19 appearances he has made.

Another dangerous Namibian to hold down will be Orlando Pirates’ man Deon Hotto.