Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos was proud of his team’s performance at the Africa Cup of Nations after they were eliminated by Nigeria in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Broos’ team held their own against the highly rated Nigerians, and were eventually beaten on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of football.
In fact, South Africa played so well on the night that they could have beaten their more illustrious rivals had Khuliso Mudau not blasted the ball over the crossbar with fulltime approaching.
“Football can be hard sometimes, when you see the performance of my team, and then there is penalties, and then you lose the penalties and you are not in the finals, it’s hard to accept that because we play very good game,” Broos was quoted in the media after the clash.
“I think we were the best team in the first half, we got the best chances.
“Nigeria didn’t have any chance. Second half, they have few chances which resulted in a goal and we changed something tactically, and we could comeback.
“We created more chances which means if we had scored, we would have been in the final and not Nigeria.”
Nigeria will now take on hosts Ivory Coast in Sunday’s final, while Bafana will go up against Wednesday’s other losing semi-finalists, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the third-place play-off on Saturday.
Broos, whose team will now have to pick themselves up for the game no one ever wants to play against the DR Congo, added he was not only delighted with Bafana’s performance against Nigeria, but throughout the tournament.
“It’s a big disappointment for everyone, we believe we played a very good game, not just (against Nigeria) but throughout the tournament. I’m proud of my players.”