Durban — Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has conceded that Morocco are the best team in Group K of 2023 Afcon qualifying.
The South African national team have been drawn in the same group as Morocco and will also play against Zimbabwe and Liberia.
“It’s clear that Morocco is the best team in our group. They were in the Afcon in January and were eliminated by Egypt and they are a very good team,” said Broos.
The 24th ranked Morocco will play at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this year and also boast several players who play in Europe’s top five leagues such as Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss, Munir El Haddadi and Youssef En-Nesyri.
The presence of Morocco also means that South Africa need to try and win their games against Liberia and Zimbabwe instead of settling for draws. Broos will be hoping that the experience that Bafana would have got from their recent friendly internationals against Guinea and France in Europe can help them in their preparations.
Bafana will be familiar with Zimbabwe, having played their Southern African neighbours in the most recent edition of World Cup qualifying. Liberia is a fairly unknown unit to Broos. South Africa have not played against the Liberians since a 1-1 Afcon 2002 qualification draw back in June 2001.
“We played against Zimbabwe during the World Cup qualifiers. We know them very well. We played two times against them last year so they are a tough team. This is a team that we have to beat if we are to qualify. We are better than we were a few months ago. I think that if we can beat them it will be a good outcome for us. Liberia is a team I don’t know at the moment. Over the coming weeks we will look at their games,” said Broos.
On paper, 149th ranked Liberia are the weakest team in the group but Broos cannot afford to underestimate them. Liberia did finish as group winners ahead of SA in Group 2 during the 2002 Afcon qualification.
“Maybe Liberia are on paper the weakest team in the group. It is always dangerous to underestimate an opponent. First of all, we are going to look at their games and see how good they are. If we look at this group, Morocco are the best team. Zimbabwe will give us tough games and Liberia normally are the weakest team,” said Broos.