6 February 2024 – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos remains focused on seeing his charges over the line in Wednesday night’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semifinal clash against Nigeria in Cote d’Ivoire.
Broos is bidding for a second AFCON title after leading Cameroon to the winners’ medal in 2017, and he faced a barrage of questions from journalists on Tuesday reminding him about previous clashes against Nigeria.
“Yes, we know and understand who we are up against. We know the might of this team and that their players play all over Europe. We also know that last time in an AFCON what the result was, but this time it’s different. It’s different players, a different team and a different AFCON. Anything is possible,” said the Belgian tactician.
Happy to have come this far with his squad, the coach also delivered sad news on the status of Thapelo Maseko. “Sadly due to the third-degree tear (hamstring), Maseko is out for the rest of the tournament. But he remains with us till the end. We will not replace the player with another due to time (Visas and the travel time to get to Cote d’Ivoire at short notice), so we will continue the tournament with the squad we have.”
Captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who was the man of the match in the quarter-final clash against Cape Verde, shied away from taking credit after making several breathtaking saves during the penalty shoot-out.
“After seeing the players run for about 130 minutes non-stop, it was my turn to stand up and do my part. I’m happy it went our way but ultimately this is a team sport. I don’t like to take credit because they fought just as hard. So, reaching the semi-finals here means we did it together,” he said.
Apart from Maseko being ruled out, the team have no other injury concerns. Bafana Bafana take on Nigeria at the Stade De La Paix Bouake, at 7pm local time.