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Broos On ‘Unhappy’ Tau And Surprise Group C Results

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos says he was happy with the display of Percy Tau in Nigeria and has made a bold prediction for their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying group.

Tau has come under immense scrutiny since the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, to the extent that Broos rested him from their FIFA Series outings against Andorra and Algeria.

The Belgian mentor stated he was looking to shield the Al Ahly forward from further criticism from the public but will always back him as one of the country’s finest talents.

While Tau showed an improved display, he missed a chance in the second half that could have secured three points in Uyo before being replaced, which seemingly left the Bafana star unhappy with himself as he made way for Thapelo Morena.

“What do you mean [about Percy looking unhappy]? Look, again, like I said I am very happy with the performances of all the players,” Broos told the media when asked about Tau’s reaction as he walked off.

“And also the performance of Percy, okay in the second half, psychically it was difficult for him, certainly, but there were a few other players [too]. But as I explained in the beginning, it was very tough for us if we travelled for the whole day Wednesday.

“And then we had to play Friday against such a good team, so that performance was character, we did it with mentality and I think Percy Tau is part of it in the game, he had a good chance to score… but that is football, there were chances on the other side for Nigeria also. So, the result is correct.”

Broos feels the unpredictable Group C results which sees Lesotho, Rwanda and Benin occupy the top three spots after three games, means the qualification for the Mundial will go down to the wire.

“Normally when you see this group you would think Nigeria is the biggest opponent to be first in the group, and when you come here, you hope to have a minimum of one point, so not lose,” Broos said.

“That was very important for us not to lose that game, and I said yesterday, the pressure was on Nigeria, they have now played three draws, with two home games. And in qualifiers that’s not really good. You need to win your home games first and then see that you can take some points, a victory outside [of your country]. So for us, we’re very happy with the point.

“It’s not all top countries but it’s a very tricky group when you see the results after three games, it’s unbelievable. This is something that was the biggest chance in AFCON, the little countries progressed a lot.

“You saw the results in AFCON in the second a third rounds, normally countries you don’t expect in AFCON, this is the problem for all teams in this group, every team can beat any team, and they can all take points, so I think it will be tough until the last matchday, I don’t think it will be decided before.”

Bafana will move top of the group with seven points should they beat Zimbabwe on Tuesday, June 11, at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein and other results favour them.

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.