‘We don’t have to count so much!’ Broos refuses to join conversation around Bafana permutations

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Broos has refused to join in on the sideshow of crunching the numbers, insisting that the three-point advantage is more important at this stage. Photo: BackpagePix
Broos has refused to join in on the sideshow of crunching the numbers, insisting that the three-point advantage is more important at this stage. Photo: BackpagePix

SPORT


It’s back to the calculators again as the road to the 2022 World Cup brings in new twists in the final battle for the top spots across the 10 CAF qualifying groups.

A contest of particular interest is in Group G, where Bafana Bafana head into their final fixture against Ghana away on Sunday needing to avoid a defeat to advance to the final round.

South Africa, who left for the west African country on Friday, have a three-point advantage that coach Hugo Broos and his troops need to protect, as defeat will spell disaster for a Bafana side that remains unbeaten in five games of the campaign so far.

As it turns out, their 1-0 win over Zimbabwe at FNB Stadium on Thursday somehow dragged South Africa into a pressure situation going into the final day of the campaign on Sunday.

A victory of more than one goal over the Warriors would have eased things up a bit, given that goal difference will come into play in the event Ghana win.

READ: Road to Qatar: What Bafana need against Ghana

Unlike CAF competitions, Fifa applies goal difference in the event two teams are equal on points to determine group winners.

South Africa and the Black Stars have each scored six goals and the fixture at the Cape Coast is set to bring about some heart-stopping moments for either side.

Broos, however, has refused to join in on the sideshow of crunching the numbers, insisting that the three-point advantage is more important at this stage.

“We are three points ahead,” he laughed. Broos said:

We don’t have to count so much. If we count so much, we are finished!

Instead, the veteran Belgian has urged the “real Bafana” to stand up on Sunday.

“I’m happy that we won, but not satisfied with the performance,” he told the media at a post-match conference on Thursday night.

Earlier in the day, Ethiopia snatched a late equaliser against Ghana for a 1-1 stalemate at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. This result favoured Bafana, who in turn needed to win against Zimbabwe to firm the grip atop the group.

Broos admitted that more goals against the Warriors would have eased things up.

“First of all, I’m a happy coach today because we won. That was the most important thing tonight, but on the other side, as a coach you’re not satisfied with the performance,” said the 69-year-old.

READ: Mobbie: The unsung hero carrying the hopes of a nation

“We knew the result of Ghana [prior to the kick-off against Zimbabwe], but two to three goals would have made the difference [and] 80% sure that we are in the next round.”

“I think we played against an opponent who was more aggressive than we [were]. There was no movement in the team. I didn’t recognise my team tonight. Really, I don’t know why. But I feel we were a little bit unlucky today. We had a few chances.”

Teboho Mokoena scored the goal that decided the game in the first half, and Bafana were denied a second when Bongokuhle Hlongwane’s long-range effort came off the crossbar in injury time.


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Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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