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Nation will not be happy if Bafana do not beat Zimbabwe, says Broos

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Hugo Broos said the team needed the three points from the game but knew it wouldn’t be easy. He emphasised that he would not be happy if they failed to clinch a win against Zimbabwe. He said the group was not made up of top countries, but it was a very tricky group.

Hugo Broos head coach of South Africa during FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 South Africa Training at Free State Stadium on the 09 June 2024 in Bloemfontein. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

NATIONAL team coach Hugo Broos has thrown down the gauntlet to Bafana Bafana ahead of the side’s 2026 World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe today by saying: “We have to win it.”

The Belgium-born tactician Broos addressed the media on Monday afternoon in Bloemfontein where his charges are preparing to play neighbours Zimbabwe on Tuesday evening (6pm kick-off).

Bafana Bafana had a topsy-turvy start to their World Cup qualifying campaign by losing unexpectedly to lowly Rwanda in their second match after starting with an opening Group C win against Benin.

In their third match, Bafana Bafana grabbed a commendable 1-all draw against hosts Nigeria and that performance has given the side a significant boost.

Broos went to great lengths to repeat his feelings about the team’s “fantastic” performance in Nigeria and absolve the logistics team for the delays the travelling party had to deal with on the eve of the match.

“I want to go back to what happened last week and say no one on our side was responsible for the delays. Let me be clear about that,” said Broos.

“Everything was okay for us to take off on Wednesday and then we were delayed for four hours.”

By the sound of things, Broos may have been ordered to explain in great detail how the glitches occurred, and insisted that Bafana Bafana’s logistics team were blameless.

“In light of what happened, what made me happy and proud of our team is that our team’s mentality is fantastic. I think if that happened two or three years ago, we would never have had a performance like that on Friday.

“The guys wanted to win the game and we saw it from the beginning. It was a little bit like what happened at Afcon.

“We (could) have won that game (against Nigeria) because we had the chance. After the Nigeria game, I said I am happy with four on six (fourth place in the six-team group).”

Broos said the team needed the three points from the game but knew it wouldn’t be easy. He emphasised that he would not be happy if they failed to clinch a win against Zimbabwe. He said the group was not made up of top countries, but it was a very tricky group.

Last Friday, Zimbabwe were stunned 2-0 by Lesotho in a Group C showdown at Orlando Stadium. Broos said that despite the 2-0 scoreline, Zimbabwe dominated the match. He was expecting a strong challenge from the youthful Zimbabwe side.

“They lost 2-0 against Lesotho after they conceded the first goal when their goalkeeper made a mistake. Lesotho’s second goal was a nice goal and then they had a third chance,” said Broos.

“For the rest of the match, it was Zimbabwe but they could (not) make a comeback. Zimbabwe is always a tough opponent and always a difficult match for South Africa.”

Bafana Bafana has settled in well since arriving in the City of Roses on Saturday evening.

“I am happy to say my players will be in a much better circumstances for this match,” said Broos.

“The players will not be exhausted or tired. There are no injury concerns and the squad is 100%. Maybe Percy (Tau) has a little injury. We have to win and South Africa won’t be happy if we don’t win.”

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