Former AFCON-winning coach believes Super Eagles shouldn’t be in the final

South Africa's coach Hugo Broos believes Bafana Bafana should have been in the finals of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) and not the Super Eagles.

The 71-year-old, who led Cameroon to AFCON glory in 2017 feels that his team missed opportunities to score, particularly in the first half when they had numerous chances.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated Bafana Bafana 4-2 on penalties to advance to the finals for the first time since 2013.

William Troost-Ekong gave the West Africans the lead in the 67th minute from the penalty spot, but their advantage was nullified in the 90th minute by Teboho Mokoena, who also converted from the spot.

Hugo Broos' comments about the Super Eagles

Following South Africa's loss to Nigeria, Broos expressed his perspective on the match. He remarked, “I think we were the best team in the first half, we had the best chances.”

“Nigeria didn’t have [even] one chance [in the first half]. No! Nothing. [In the] second half, they had a few chances and scored. But then we changed something tactically and came back but two minutes before the end of the 90 minutes we had three chances again.”

Broos highlighted his team's dominance in the first half, emphasising their missed opportunities and tactical adjustments throughout the game.

Bafana Bafana player dejected after AFCON 2024 loss to Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Broos reflects proudly despite South Africa's AFCON semi-final exit

Broos reflected on his team's journey with a mix of pride and disappointment. As he addressed the media, the former Cameroon coach expressed, “I am very, very proud of it, I am proud of my players.

“What they performed, not only [on Wednesday] I think you have to be proud as a coach,” Broos stated, acknowledging the disappointment of losing on penalties after a strong showing against Nigeria.

“Yes, it is a defeat and you see you played a very bad game against Cape Verde with penalties and [on Wednesday] you played a very good game against Nigeria and you lost on penalties. That’s also football,” he remarked.

However, the Belgian manager emphasised the importance of focusing on the overall performance throughout the tournament.

“Again, we have only to think about the way we played this AFCON and I think everyone knows South Africa as a good playing team and that is the most important [thing],” he concluded.

Broos on how hard it is to accept defeat to Super Eagles

The 71-year-old voiced his frustration at the unpredictability of football. “Football can be hard,” Broos remarked, expressing the disappointment of narrowly missing out on a spot in the final despite a solid performance from his team.

“When you see the performance of my team today and then there are penalties and you lose the game! You’re not in the final, it’s hard to accept that because we played a very good game.”

Broos emphasised the fine margins in football, recognising that a single goal could have altered the outcome dramatically.

“So if we could score there, it’s us going to the final and not Nigeria, that can happen in football,” he reflected.

“It’s a big disappointment for everyone because we feel that we played a very good game; that we played a very good AFCON.”

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with and He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.