South Africa's Broos rues missed opportunity after defeat to Nigeria

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Feb 2024

South Africa coach Hugo Broos expressed his disappointment after his team's 4-2 penalty shootout defeat to Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final on Wednesday, claiming his side deserved to be in the final.

Hugo Broos
South Africa's head coach Hugo Broos reacts during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) semi-final football match between Nigeria and South Africa at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake on February 7, 2024. Photo: AFP


The Bafana Bafana battled back from a goal down to level the game at 1-1 before succumbing to the Super Eagles in the penalty shootout. Despite the defeat, Broos remained adamant that his team played the better football.

“Football can be hard sometimes, when you see the performance of my team today, 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 played very good game today,” Broos told reporters after the game.

“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 come back.

“We created more chances which means if we had scored, we would have been in the final and not Nigeria,” he added.

The Belgian tactician praised his team's overall performance in the tournament, acknowledging their disappointment but also expressing pride in their efforts.

“It’s a big disappointment for everyone, we believe we played a very good game, not just today but throughout the tournament. I’m proud of my players, the disappointment is this but the proudness is that,” he concluded.

South Africa will now turn their attention to Saturday's third-place playoff against DR Congo, aiming to end their AFCON campaign on a positive note.

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