South Africa coach blames missed penalty for AFCON loss to Mali

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Jan 2024

South Africa coach Hugo Broos has blamed his team’s missed penalty and the good physical shape of Mali player for Tuesday’s 2-0 loss in the African Cup of Nations opener.

Mali s
Mali s defender #2 Hamari Traore (C) celebrates scoring his team s first goal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group E football match between Mali and South Africa at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo on January 16, 2024. AFP

The Eagles scored twice in just six minutes of the second half to secure a precious victory in the group stage opener over the Bafana Bafana who weren’t lucky after missing a penalty by striker Percy Tau in the first half.

“The performance of South Africa was good, and I think if we scored the penalty, we would have been good,” Broos was quoted as saying by CAF’s official website after the game.

“They were more physical than the first half. This was the major difference. We lost a lot of balls and mostly because of the physical conditioning of Mali was better than us. So this is the difference and this is where Mali was able to change the game, not at the football playing level” Broos, who won the African title in 2017 with Cameroon team, added.

The 71-year old Broos also hailed his counterpart at Mali team, coach Eric Chelle, for his strategy in the game, adding that the Malian players had the superior level in duels especially in the second half.

“We lost the ball where we shouldn’t have lost it but then again, I think the performance was good but just not good enough” he concluded.

South Africa, who are searching for their first African title since 1996, will be facing Namibia on Sunday before facing Tunisia in the group stage last match three days later.

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