20 April 2022 – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has singled out Morocco as the team to beat in Group K after the continental football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), confirmed the draw for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday night.
The Senior Men’s National Team was pitted against Morocco, Zimbabwe and Liberia, and these are the teams that stand between Bafana Bafana and the continental tournament to be played in Côte d’Ivoire next year.
Broos said while Morocco will be viewed as the favourites to win the four-team group, Bafana Bafana have their own ambitions and are well aware that they have to beat the North Africans if they want to be perched at the summit of the standings by the time the qualifying dust settles.
“It is clear that Morocco is the best team in our group. They were in the Afcon in January, they were eliminated by Egypt and they are a very good team,” he told www.Safa.net today.
“Maybe Morocco are the best of our group.”
The North Africans have several players based in Belgium and the Senior National Team coach said he knows players like Tarik Tissoudalithe and Selim Amallah very well.
“I know this team very well. So I think if we want to be first in our group, we have to beat Morocco. On the other side there is Zimbabwe.
“We played against Zimbabwe during the qualifiers for the World Cup. We know them very well, we played two times against them last year [Bafana won 1-0 at home and drew 0-0 away], so they are a tough team. But this is a team we have to beat [if we are to qualify].
“We are better than we were a few months ago. So I think if we can beat them twice it will be [a] very good [outcome] for us. Liberia for me are a team I don’t know [at the moment], I don’t know the players, so it is up to us in the coming weeks to look at their games.
“Maybe Liberia are [on paper] the weakest team in the group. But it is always dangerous to underestimate an opponent. So for that, first of all we are going to look at their games, their last few games, see how good they are. So if we look at this group, first of all Morocco are the best team, Zimbabwe our neighbours, very tough games [against them], and Liberia normally are the weakest team.”
The Belgian coach hinted that there could be new faces in the team by the time Bafana Bafana play their first Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in June.
“It is a little early to tell if there will be other players, new faces from the start of the qualifiers, there are still two months to go, so it is up to us again in the league to see many games in the next weeks and to watch also the players who are playing abroad.
“There are players we know, there are some other players, one in Holland, for example, a striker and we saw his last game.
“So, we need to look after again and maybe other guys who are playing in Sweden, so there we have to also look at their games and then decide if those guys can be with us in June. At the other side again I have several weeks now to go in the league and to watch maybe new players and to try to have a very good team to start our qualifiers in June.”