9 February 2024 – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is brimming with pride after his charges reached the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire this week for the first time in 24 years.
A 10-man South African senior men’s team bravely gave their all during a dramatic Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Nigeria before eventually losing 2-4 on penalties on Wednesday night.
They will now turn their attention to DR Congo when they face-off in the bronze medal match in the third-place playoff on Saturday (10 February 2024).
“I have said it before and I will say it again, I am very proud of my team and I am proud to be their coach,” the Belgian said on Friday, 9 February 2024. “They’ve had a great run in this tournament and have played very, very well. Yes, we did not get to the final as we wanted, but that is football. I am still very, very proud and we continue to fight as we take on DR Congo tomorrow.”
Bafana Bafana have shown growth since Broos took over the reins more than two years ago and will be hoping to sign off from the tournament with one final win. It has been more than two decades since South Africa’s men’s national team has been this competitive.
“I always try and mix young players with experienced players,” Broos continued. “It was my goal to look into the future as well and think about who will be at the next AFCON or World Cup. We can compete with the best in the world and in Africa, and this team will continue building.”
Defender Siyanda Xulu said the AFCON is not over for Bafana Bafana with the bronze medal game against DR Congo still to come. “We still have to play and we have work to do,” he said. “We won’t stop until the final whistle. We are a unit, a family, a team that sticks together and we will go out there and give our best.”
South Africa face DR Congo at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium at 10pm local time. The team’s arrival back in South Africa is scheduled for 4am Wednesday morning, 14 February 2024.