Broos says it's normal for South Africa to dream of Afcon final but warns about Cape Verde
While Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos believes it’s perfectly normal for South Africa to be dreaming of an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final, he warns that underestimating Cape Verde could reduce everything to a pipe dream.
After knocking out Tunisia in the group stages and dumping hot favourites Morocco out of the race in the last 16, Bafana are high in confidence.
Supporters back home have joined the players in believing the team can go all the way in the tournament hosted by Ivory Coast, whose national team is still in the running.
But standing in the way of that dream becoming a reality for Broos’ men are minnows Cape Verde, who are also determined to write their own history at the tournament.
The two nations are set to battle it out in the competition’s quarterfinals at Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast on Saturday (10pm SA time).
While Bafana, who won the Afcon in 1996, aim to qualify for the semifinals for the first time in 24 years, the Blue Sharks are determined to make the stage for the first time in their history.
In the fourth episode of the ‘Arena Sports Show’, former Soweto giants goalkeeper was impressed with Bafana’s stunning 2-0 win over top ranked Morocco on Tuesday and he is asking more of the same against Cape Verde. From soccer and rugby to cricket and netball, experts will dissect the major talking points behind every big match during the exciting new Arena Sports Show. Bold and daring, this weekly web series is hosted by Vision View Sports Radio’s Clauiee Grace Mpanza. #SouthAfrica #News www.timeslive.co.za
Broos acknowledged that while Cape Verde don’t have big name players who campaign in some of the world’s top clubs such as Morocco, they remain equally if not more dangerous.
“We are very happy to be still in this tournament. You know when you are playing a game against the favourites of Afcon, and you win it, I think it means you gave a good performance,” Broos said.
“That performance was a boost of confidence. We now believe in ourselves, and we will be ready for tomorrow's (Saturday) game.
“We are not underestimating the team of Cape Verde. Yes, they are not the same team as Morocco, who have high quality players that play for big teams in Europe.”
Broos believes a high level of discipline is one of the reasons the Blue Sharks topped their group ahead of seven-time winners Egypt, Ghana and Mozambique.
Cape Verde stunned Ghana 2-1, drew 2-2 with Egypt and walloped Mozambique 3-0.
“From what I saw in their team (Cape Verde), I think we don’t have to underestimate them,” Broos emphasised.
“They have a quality team on the pitch and their players are very disciplined, every player plays their role and it’s difficult to play against them.
“That means tomorrow we have to reach our best level if we want to be in the semifinals.”
Broos has no problem with his players dreaming about being in the final, as long as they know they have to work for it.
“I think it’s normal that little by little we started dreaming about the final, but it would be a very big mistake to think that after beating Morocco everything will be easier for us,” he said.
“Let’s start on Saturday to try and beat the team of Cape Verde and we will see what happens after that.”