Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos says he expects a fearless performance from his charges in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco given the experience they’ve gained in recent matches.
Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos says he expects a fearless performance from his charges in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco given the experience they’ve gained in recent matches.
Bafana will miss out on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar in November after failing to make passage to the Africa play-offs having lost out on the top spot in Group G to Ghana in the qualifiers.
However, Broos is banking on that dubious loss to the Black Stars and 5-0 thrashing from World Champions France to have toughen up his relatively inexperienced group for the continental qualifiers.
Broos announces Bafana Bafana squad to do battle against Morocco in AFCON qualifier https://t.co/W2NQYBjPLZ
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“I said it ahead of the World Cup qualifiers that if we don’t qualify that should still be a great experience for the young players,” Broos said during his press briefing at Sturrock Park yesterday.
“They had never played for Bafana Bafana before but they now had an opportunity to play six games. So, they learnt a lot from that. We had to start somewhere and they started in September.
“I was so angry that we got so many critics after the game against France. Did people think that we’ll beat France, which is an experienced team that has players that play for big teams in Europe?” asked Broos.
The South Africans are in Group K in the qualifiers alongside Morocco and Liberia after the ban on neighbours Zimbabwe was upheld by Fifa ahead of the Afcon qualifiers.
With Morocco the favourites to top the group, Bafana are expected to qualify for the finals in Ivory Coast next year as runners-up ahead of the lowly-ranked Liberia.
However, strange things happen in football and Broos knows that all too well, so he wants to hit the ground running in Rabat on Thursday, daring scared players to remain at home.
“We know the players and the team very well. But they are still a good team, although we have a plan. We’ll see if that plan will succeed come next Thursday,” Broos explained.
“We know what we have to do. And one thing that is important is to have the (right) mentality and confidence. When you go to Morocco with fear it is better that you stay right here at home.”
Broos may have been speaking on an international front, but there are a couple of his players who were whipped by Moroccan clubs in continental competitions in recent weeks.
Orlando Pirates lost to RS Berkane in the CAF Confederation Cup final in May, while Percy Tau’s Ahly were beaten 2-0 by Wydad Casablanca in the Champions League final in Casablanca on Monday.
The experience of Pirates like Innocent Maela and Thembinkosi Lorch and that of Tau, who’s looking sharper than ever, should secure Bafana a positive result in Rabat, according to Broos.
“Everybody is present, even Percy. I am very happy that he’s here. I was very happy to see that he’s shown more freshness in his games than the previous games with us,” Broos said of his vice-captain.
“This was not the Percy Tau that we know, so I hope that I’ll see him again like I saw him in Belgium. A good player who can be decisive for our team. We have to give him a mental recovery after the loss.”