Bafana fans should not expect miracles against Morocco

FILE - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jun 9, 2023


Johannesburg – Coach Hugo Broos has pleaded with Bafana Bafana’s supporters not to expect miracles from his team when they face Morocco a week tomorrow.

Bafana have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals as they are guaranteed to finish second in Group K behind leaders Morocco — following the elimination of Liberia in the qualifiers.

However, the qualifiers will only finish this month, with the South Africans set to host the record-breaking Morocco at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on June 17.

Morocco have grown in leaps and bounds in the past few months, becoming the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-final, while they are ranked No 1 on the continent.

So given that pedigree, Broos’ men are expected to wear the underdogs tag – even though he believes his troops will not need extra motivation against the Atlas Lions.

Coming up against renowned nations has been Bafana’s blemish since Broos took over, as he and the team received harsh criticism when they lost 5-0 to former World Cup champions France.

So with Bafana expected to be no match for the best footballing nation on the continent, Broos has pleaded with their partisan supporters to lower their expectations.

“You must understand that if you play against teams like Morocco and France, you are the weakest team. Don’t dream that at this moment you have players as good as they are,” Broos said.

“The reality is that they are a much better team than we are at the moment. So don’t ask for miracles, even when you lose 3-0 or 4-0, even if there is a good part of that.

The two teams’ clash might be academic on paper, given that they’ve both sealed passage to the finals in Ivory Coast next year, but Broos and his counterpart Walid Regragui are not leaving any stone unturned.

The duo named relatively strong final squads for the clash, while the notable omission from the former list was Lyle Foster, who was given permission to start pre-season with his EPL side Burnley.

But with the likes of Al Ahly’s Percy Tau – whose team will face Moroccans Wydad Casablanca in the Champions League’s final second leg tonight – part of the final list, Broos is adamant he’s selected the best squad.

And that’s why the Belgian-born coach has pleaded with the fans not to criticise them if they lose, instead gauge their performance ahead of the continental showpiece next year.

“And the good part of the defeat to France was that we started thinking about what we must do to have a better team. On the other hand, it is a good test for us to see where we are,” Broos said.

“But again, I was furious after France, about the criticism we received, especially when I saw who did that, then I asked myself, do you know what this is all about in football?

“So again, now we are in front of a very difficult game against a very good opponent. Just look at the performances of our players and see how good we are or bad we are.”

Bafana are expected to assemble for camp tomorrow.


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