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HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsKeita Opens Up After Broos' Bafana Beat Liberia To AFCON Qualification

Keita Opens Up After Broos’ Bafana Beat Liberia To AFCON Qualification

Liberia head coach Ansumana Keita says he did what he needed to do when asked about his confident statements prior to their 2-1 defeat at the hands of South Africa.

Bafana Bafana secured their ticket to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with the win in Monrovia as Zakhele Lepasa and Mihlali Mayambela’s goals made sure captain William Jebor’s goal was nothing more than a consolation.

“You saw two teams play 50-50 today, tonight was a good game, good display of football but we must accept the result,” Keita said after the game.

“It was our plan [to qualify for AFCON], it was our objective but in football, you have to accept that you can play football, do everything to qualify but the result does not go your way.”

When pressed about his statements backfiring after he confidently claimed they were heading to AFCON, Keita stated it was part of the mental aspect to bring confidence to the players and supporters on the day, which was the first home game they hosted in three years.

“So you wanted me to come from South Africa and tell you we don’t have a chance [to beat], South Africa, here? No. You saw it, you might say we lost the game, but it’s part of football,” he explained.

“South Africa never dominated us or outplayed us today, we did everything we could, we should appreciate this team and encourage them for the future.

“You can see where we are going, it’s not the end of the world to knock out today, it’s a process now. I’m proud of the players. We’ll work hard to qualify for the next one.”

Captain Jebor was equally disappointed but issued a promise to the Lone Stars faithful, who turned out in their numbers to push their national team on against Bafana.

“It’s not how many times you fall, it’s about getting up and keep trying, I’m a man and all through my life I never gave up, so sometimes it may not happen as you anticipate but we keep going, I’m confident we’ll get there,” Jebor said.

“It might not be today or tomorrow but one thing I know, I will not stop until we qualify for the African Cup, and I know my colleagues have that in mind and this feeling we have, we’re tired of feeling like this, the coach, the staff, everyone behind us, we’ll get the job done, I promise.”

Liberia face Morocco next in what will be a dead rubber fixture in June, while South Africa will host the Atlas Lions – with both teams already qualified for the biennial event.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kรถhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.