AFCON 2024: Bafana’s Broos braces for Nigeria test in crunch semi-final

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to face off against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in a highly anticipated 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) semi-final showdown in Bouake on February 7.

Jose Peseiro's team advanced to the semi-finals with a narrow 1-0 victory over Angola, while Broos' side triumphed over Cape Verde, securing their first semi-final berth since 2000.

Bafana Bafana manager Broos is cautious of Nigeria's continuous improvement yet remains confident that his team can sustain their unexpected journey in the Africa Cup of Nations and emerge victorious on Wednesday's epic clash.

Super eagles
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Broos' take on the Super Eagles and Ademola Lookman

Amid mounting excitement for the imminent Africa Cup of Nations semi-final showdown, South Africa's coach recognised the daunting test presented by Nigeria.

While contemplating Nigeria's advancement in the competition, Broos underscored the team's steady enhancement in every match.

“Nigeria are a team who have become better and better with every game at this Afcon,” Broos noted.

“It's a good team and a very good side with a few good players like the one, what's his name? Look … (Ademola Lookman). The one who scored the goal.”

“He is a very good player,” Broos acknowledged.

“We have to analyse them a little bit more now that we know we are playing against them in the semifinals. Nigeria are a team who have become better and better with every game at this Afcon.”

Broos prepares Bafana Bafana for Super Eagles showdown

As Broos and his charges gear up for the pivotal semi-final encounter against Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations, he strategised with a keen eye on exploiting Nigeria's vulnerabilities while respecting their strengths.

“We will see how we can use the weaknesses in this team and be aware of the qualities of this team,” Broos explained.

Recognising the significance of this match beyond the tournament, Broos highlighted its dual role as both a crucial test and a preview of their upcoming clashes in the World Cup qualifiers.

“It's going to be a little bit special because in a few months we are playing in the World Cup qualifiers. So, it can be a test for the both of us,” he added, underlining the weight of the occasion and its implications for future encounters between the two sides.

Broos eyes AFCON 2024 final amidst PSL recognition

As the South Africans bask in the glory of their unexpected journey to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals, coach Broos reflected on the significance of this achievement.

“This means a lot,” Broos emphasised, echoing the sentiments of a nation that initially harboured doubts about their team's capabilities.

Despite the scepticism, Broos and his squad held steadfast belief in their potential, a belief that has been vindicated by their success on the pitch.

Broos sees this accomplishment not only as a triumph for the team but also as a boon for South African football as a whole.

“It is a very good thing for South African football,” he remarked, highlighting the newfound recognition and interest their performances have garnered.

AFCON 2024
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With eyes set on elevating the standard of the Premier Soccer League (PSL), Broos acknowledged the need for continued improvement and resilience.

As they gear up for the Super Eagles, the 71-year-old and his players collectively hunger to defy expectations and make history by securing a spot in the final on Sunday.

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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 www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.