‘Turn it on loud and proud’ was the call from coach Hugo Broos to Bafana Bafana supporters ahead of Tuesday evening’s World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia.
CAPE TOWN – “Turn it on loud and proud” was the clarion call from coach Hugo Broos to Bafana Bafana supporters ahead of Tuesday evening’s historic World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium.
The match will mark the first time in 18 months that spectators will be allowed to attend a match in a stadium.
Safa, together with the Minister of Sport, as well as the Minister of Health, have granted permission for 2,000 spectators to attend the qualifier.
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is banking on crowd support to drive the home advantage and pull the team through.
Broos was reacting to the news that 2,000 spectators will be allowed at the match. It will be the first time in 18 months that a sports event in South Africa will be played in front of spectators who will no doubt have huge expectations in the light of Bafana Bafana’s 3-1 win in Ethiopia last Saturday.
“We have played behind closed doors for a while so it will be strange to have supporters in the stadium,” said Broos.
“In the previous months, the players had to do it by themselves – now they will have that support, even though it will only be 2,000. I hope they will be very loud because it will give us motivation.
“Let’s hope the 2,000 fans will be behind us and it will be great support.”
“It will be wonderful, and the support will be great, especially when the team is going through a bad patch on the field. When players experience bad moments, the support helps to lift the players.
“I hope it comes across loudly because it will be very motivating.
“I can say the supporters will see a team full of character. When we played our first qualifier (against Zimbabwe), the team was low on confidence.
“In the next match (against Ghana) they showed confidence and our play was of a good standard.
“On Saturday in Ethiopia I saw a team of fighters and that made me a very happy man, and I am hopeful that this young team will go on to greater things.”
Broos said the team had a training session on Sunday and though the players were tired after a six-hour flight – and three landings, from Ethiopia the night before, there was a workmanlike atmosphere at training.
“As I said about our halftime talk regarding a show of character, the players continue to show the right mentality,” Broos told the media at Monday’s press conference.
“We now have a (psychological) advantage after our win on Saturday but we will be up against a very good side again. They play very good combination football and that’s why it was not a good idea for them to have chosen a bumpy pitch for Saturday.
“The pitch at FNB will be good so you can expect them to give a better performance.
“The players are doing what was asked of them and some are doing even more. They are in a very good frame of mind, and we’ll be ready for Ethiopia.”
Broos summed up the team’s progress by saying they are making great strides.
Bafana Bafana reserve goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma said he was proud to have played a supporting role to first-choice keeper Ronwen Williams in Saturday’s 3-1 win.
“We are feeling good and happy to have won away from home,” said Bvuma. “The points are important for us as a country and now we are back home looking to finish the job.
“It felt great to be able to beat them away from home. I am proud of the hard work being put in and supporting the team from the bench felt great because we all contributed.
“We have a new generation of players and being part of this team makes me want to work harder.
“As we are leading the group, we need to win our games, focus on ourselves and get maximum points and hopefully go all the way.”
Bafana Bafana will go into Tuesday’s game undefeated after three matches and on the top of Group G standings.