Wednesday Nov 17, 2021. 10:00
South Africa coach Hugo Broos is hopeful that the pain of his team’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying exit will inspire them to reach the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2023.
Bafana Bafana suffered a heart-breaking elimination on the road to Qatar 2022, as their 1-0 loss away to Ghana on Sunday night saw them replaced at the top of Group G by the Black Stars.
Ghana were ranked ahead of South Africa only on goals scored, with the teams having the same points haul and goal difference.
Making the exit even more painful was that the decisive goal – scored by Andre Ayew – came from a highly-debatable penalty. The South African Football Association (SAFA) lodged an official complaint to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) against referee Maguette Ndiaye.
And Broos was also critical of the match official’s performance: “I congratulate Ghana but I congratulate my boys also because we played against a very aggressive opponent which the referee allowed,” Broos said, as quoted by IOL.
“I am very disappointed in the result but I’m proud of my players. But I have to say, the referee today allowed Ghana to be too aggressive. I have nothing against aggressive play but it has to be legal aggression.”
The Belgian coach’s next assignment in charge of Bafana Bafana will be getting the team to qualify for the 2013 AFCON in the Ivory Coast, and he hopes that his charges will learn from their experience in the World Cup Qualifiers.
“Look, we came here to try to play a good game, to play a draw or maybe win. When you are so close, and you’re in the position we were in, we tried to do it,” said Broos.
“But again, we played against a very strong team, and the team with 10 times more experience than we have, at the moment.
“We are a new team, so you cannot blame South Africa not to be qualified for the next round.
“Not at all, but you can be sure that there is a team again in South Africa, and that will try to qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations finals.”