Broos praises Bafana’s character after key win over Ethiopia

SA still top of group in 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Neville Khoza Journalist
Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos
Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos hailed his side’s resilience and character after their impressive 3-1 victory over Ethiopia in the 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup qualifier at Bahir Dar Stadium on Saturday.

The win, courtesy of goals from Teboho Mokoena, Mothobi Mvala and Evidence Makgopa, maintained Bafana’s lead in Group G with seven points from three matches.

Ghana are second, with six points, after their 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe also on Saturday at home. Though Broos was not happy with the state of the pitch, he was satisfied with the character the team showed to come back with all three points.

“It was a very difficult game on a very tough pitch. I said before the game to the players that we don’t need a trophy of best football playing, but we need a title of the team with the most character,” Broos told Safa media after the game.

“We showed that character, we fought for every ball and we won at last, and it is a great win.

“We were not confident like we were against Ghana and this is because of the pitch. I didn’t understand that it was such an important game and we played on a pitch like this. It is also not good for them because they are a team that plays football.

“On this field, you can do nothing other than just to kick. The team didn’t feel comfortable on this pitch.”

The Belgian coach also explained his decision to take off Tshegofatso Mabasa after just 30 minutes.

“I know it is a little bit disappointing for Tshegofatso, but he had difficulties and it was better that we changed that,” Broos said.

“We trained for it during the week, but I don’t think he really understood what we asked from him and therefore we had to change him after the half-hour mark.”

Bafana will look to complete the double over Ethiopia when they host them at FNB Stadium tomorrow (6pm) to move to 10 points ahead of the final two qualifiers against Ghana and Zimbabwe next month.

Africa has 10 groups in the qualifying campaign and the winners will be drawn to play two-legged games for one of the five places at the World Cup.

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