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Broos Diverts Concerns Over Early AFCON Exit

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos refused to entertain questioning of a potential early 2023 Africa Cup of Nations exit.

Broos was probed by Malian media about whether they feel confident they can overcome the disappointment from the 2-0 defeat and show their capabilities against Namibia.

He reiterated on several occasions that it was lapses of concentration rather than a subpar performance against the West Africans but they can’t underestimate The Brave Warriors – which he felt Tunisia did in their opening Group E loss on Tuesday evening.

“All games are different, Mali took advantage of our mistakes, we didn’t respond well and we were left disappointed, but we have rekindled our trust and confidence now, we face Namibia and we are nervous because many [of their] players are playing in South Africa,” Broos said when asked if there are concerns of an early exit if they repeat their mistakes.

“The only thing we need to do is avoid the mistakes we made against Mali, but it will be difficult because Namibia will be quite confident after beating Tunisia and secondly playing against South Africa.”

The 2017 AFCON winning coach has drawn three of the last three meetings against the COSAFA rivals but suggests that a match of consequence like what is set for Sunday will bring a different mentality and approach from both teams.

All three matches saw Namibia play with a low block and frustrate South Africa for large spells of the game, looking for joy on the counter.

“I don’t think you can compare the friendly game of four months ago and the game of tomorrow, it’s a crucial game for us, it wasn’t four months ago, it was a friendly game to prepare for AFCON and World Cup qualifiers,” Broos explained.

“There were new players in the game, younger players, it was an opportunity to give them the chances and to see how good they were for the future. On the other side, we have Namibia with a different mentality to that game, by the time we kick off tomorrow.

“It’s something special, these guys are playing in South Africa, so they want to show something, they want to beat us, this is a normal thing in sports with two neighbouring countries when they play each other.

“When Belgium play against Holland it’s like the game of the year, so tomorrow it will be the same, also for us, so I don’t look at that game of four months ago, it’s different than tomorrow.”

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler 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.