After failing to qualify for the World Cup, the Belgian tactician is under scrutiny to see if he can assist South Africa qualify for a major tournament. Hugo Broos, the coach of Bafana Bafana, has downplayed fears of nerves ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier coming up this summer.
With Broos under pressure to guide Bafana back to the AFCON finals after their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification failure, the Belgian is wearing a brave face. “I am never nervous before a game, never,” Broos told Safa media. “The nerves start about two hours before the kick-off and then you are a little bit tense but it’s normal because you want to win the game. But real stress, no, I don’t know it.” Bafana face a Morocco side which reached the quarter-finals of the last AFCON edition, before qualifying for the Fifa World Cup. Group K has been reduced to three teams following the expulsion of Zimbabwe by Fifa and Broos sees it as a tricky situation. “It’s a big qualifier because Morocco are a very good team and it’s the first game of the qualifiers,’ said Broos. “The first game is always important. When you play qualifiers, if you can have a good result, it’s a little bit easier for the next games because you don’t have to chase the other ones. “It’s a little bit different now with three countries in one group, so it’s a little bit different but having a good start is important. “It’s a tricky situation. At the moment, Zimbabwe is out and I heard left and right that ‘it will be easier now.’ Nothing is easy. Even the games against [fellow Group K side] Liberia will not be easy.
“We have to play those games and be at the best level to win those games. Again, one more or one less, it changes things a little bit, and if we win twice in September then we qualify, but you have to win twice. It’s always the same thing, you have to win the games.” After the Morocco match, Bafana will host Liberia in September.