South African national men’s team coach Hugo Broos is already planning for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast after Bafana Bafana made it to the tournament with a 2-1 win over Liberia in Monrovia.
Broos says he should now be ‘killed’ if the team doesn’t make it past the group phases.
“I said that people should kill me if we do not go to the AFCON and now that we have made it, they should kill me if we do not go through the group phases of the tournament,” Broos said.
The tactician was relieved with Bafana Bafana booking a spot in next January’s AFCON and especially bouncing back after dropping a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with the Liberians last week.
He believes that South Africa should be a side regularly competing at the continent’s top tournament.
“This is a country that normally should be at every AFCON and I did not understand why we couldn’t qualify in the last years. This win was important for us because we have a new team with young players and we did it. We can only progress over the next 10 months with good preparations against opponents from whom we can learn something,” said the tactician.
South Africa had to hold on for dear life in the last few minutes of the game with two goal-line clearances in the last five minutes, Liberia threatening to pull another great comeback.
Zakhele Lepasa had given the South Africans a 19th minute lead, when he raced to a Thapelo Morena dropped pass behind the defense before slotting low past the keeper.
However, the hard fighting Liberians drew level 10 minutes to halftime through skipper William Jebor. The lanky forward picked up the ball from distance and pulled the trigger, the power of the ball being too much for keeper Ronwen Williams who saw the ball slip through his fingers.
In the second half, under pressure South Africa tidied up their act and they got back into the lead nine minutes after the restart when Mihlali Mayambela slotted home from close range, reacting fastest to a spill from the keeper.
Despite some nervous moments, South Africa held on for the win.
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