Hugo Broos, Bafana not thinking about revenge ahead of World Cup qualifier against Nigeria

FILE - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

FILE - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 5, 2024


Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos says his team will not be burdened by the memory of their Africa Cup of Nations defeat when they take on Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

At the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, Bafana and Nigeria met in the semi-finals of the tournament, and it was the west Africans who advances to the final after winning their game on penalties. South Africa would go on to win the bronze medal, while Nigeria were beaten in the final by Ivory Coast.

Much of the talk leading up to this weekend’s game has been about that clash in Bouaké, and whether the trauma would affect Broos’ team, or they would be spurred on to set things right.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday, Broos dismissed any talk of “revenge”, saying they were targeting three points to help them achieve their goal of reaching football’s global showpiece.

“We want to have a good result against Nigeria because this is a qualifier for the World Cup and we don’t think about revenge,” the Belgian said.

And with still a lot of qualifiers left to play, Broos insisted that regadless of the result, they were still confident of reaching the 2026 World Cup, to be hosted in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

“Losing the game should not be a disaster because after that, we still have six games to play. But I would rather not have a defeat to Nigeria.

“We know all about them but they also know all about us. I think they will not start the game with the same mentality they had at Afcon because they know how strong we are.

“We have to use our status of being the team that finished third at Afcon but at the same time we must stay humble. We still have to work, fight and produce the same mentality we showed at Afcon,” said Broos.

After two games, Bafana sit second in Group C of qualifying after a win against Benin and a loss against Rwanda, while Nigeria are in third place after picking up a solitary point from their two games.

IOL Sport