Hugo Broos, head coach of South Africa during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations training session for South Africa at Auguste Denis East Stadium in San Pedro, Cote dIvoire on 29 January 2024 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Tuesday Jan 30, 2024. 11:29
South Africa head coach Hugo Broos believes that if they can achieve victory against Morocco on Wednesday it could propel them all the way to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final.
Bafana Bafana are set to renew their rivalry with the Atlas Lions, whom they also faced in Group K of qualifying for the continental showpiece in Ivory Coast.
Broos’ side were beaten 2-1 in Rabat on matchday 1, but they got revenge a year later after winning the return leg by the same scoreline in Johannesburg.
The North Africans have only emerged victorious once against the team from the southern tip of the continent at the African spectacle, which came in the 2019 edition when they won 1-0 during the group stages.
Bafana Bafana came out on top in their previous three meetings at AFCON and Broos is optimistic that they can claim the prized scalp of Walid Regragui’s side once more , which could give his players the catalyst they need to go all the way in the tournament.
“The group stages ask a lot of the players because you play against very motivated teams – they all want to go to the next round,” the Belgian said.
“It’s amazing what happened in the group stages here in this AFCON. So it asks a lot of the players, but I think if you manage them well we can produce a good game against Morocco.
“But Morocco are also on another level. They showed it at the last World Cup in Qatar. They have become a very good team with very good players.
“But we have played them twice – in Morocco we were a bit dominated but in Joburg we won against them. That must give us confidence for Tuesday’s game, and [believing] that even against such a good team as Morocco there are things that are possible.
“We have to believe in that, and then we will see. If we beat Morocco then we know we have a big chance to play in the final.
“Because you will have beaten a very good team and then in the next round you avoid a big team – you don’t play against a Senegal or Ivory Coast.
“So we know that if we can [beat Morocco] we take a big step towards what we all wanted – playing in the final and maybe winning it.”