16 January 2024 – Bafana Bafana are now just hours away from getting their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign underway when they face Mali in an opening Group E match at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Korogo tonight (Tuesday 16 January 2024).

It is a game that is eagerly anticipated both back home in South Africa and around the world as fans wait to see what coach Hugo Broos’ charges bring to the continental tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.

Striker Percy Tau, who has vast experience in continental competitions for club and country, said Bafana Bafana are hungry for success as they look towards opening their account on the continental stage tonight.

“We are a good team. We have come along very well in the past two years, building as we worked towards to this very moment,” the Al Ahly player said. “We want to win, we have the hunger and the drive to succeed. We only want what is best for us and our country. We need support to do that as well and it does not just happen. We are here and ready to put up a fight”.

Broos led Cameroon to a surprise Africa Cup of Nations victory in 2017 after beating Egypt in the final. Observers have attempted to draw a parallel between that Cameroon side and Bafana Bafana, but the Belgian taction has been reluctant to go down that road.

But he did say that from a personal point of view, it is something he really wants to see happening in Cote d’Ivoire. “It would be wonderful to win AFCON again and yes, I really want to, but we will see. Winning it when no one gave us a chance in 2017 was something I cannot explain. So yes, I would really like that for this Bafana Bafana team, we all want it”.

Preparations on the ground in Korhogo have been complimentary so far, with the organisation of the tournament, accommodation, training facilities and meals being well taken care of, ensuring that the team is able to focus solely on their goals in the tournament.

Bafana Bafana’s AFCON opening match against Mali is at 10pm local time.