Bafana coach Hugo Broos: ‘We need to win against Zimbabwe’
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos admits he cannot predict the approach that will be taken by new Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza in the first of this month’s two final group stages qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
Broos, naming his squad on Tuesday for the game against Zimbabwe at FNB Stadium on November 11 and Ghana away on November 14, said no matter what Mapeza does, Bafana simply have to beat the Warriors.
In September Mapeza replaced Croatian Zdravko Logarušić shortly after Zimbabwe were held to a 0-0 draw at home in Broos’ first match at the helm.
Zimbabwe, with just a point, are out of the running for progressing to the final home-and-away playoff match to reach Qatar 2022, as are Ethiopia on three points.
SA — following a remarkable string of results as Broos has put an emphasis on youth and omitted some big-name players — top Group G on 10 points, and Ghana, who meet Ethiopia at neutral Orlando Stadium on November 11, have nine.
“It’s a tricky game. First of all they are the neighbours, so this is a derby. It’s always difficult,” Broos said of this month's first game at home to Zimbabwe.
“I don’t know what they are going to do. If the coach will maybe put a team in preparation of Afcon  and maybe try some new payers. Or is he going back to some old players like before, and also preparing for Afcon?” Broos said.
“This is something we have to see in the next week. We have to focus on the fact that we have to win.
“If we don’t win the game, what importance can the game in Ghana have? We need to be there [in Ghana] with one point ahead. Maybe more. Let’s hope more.
“Ghana have the pressure to win against us, so therefore we have to win against Zimbabwe. If it’s a Zimbabwe with the team from two months ago, or a new team, or whatever, doesn’t matter. We need to win against Zimbabwe.”
Broos said his steadily improving, young Bafana should put in a far improved performance against Zimbabwe at home than their understandably patchy performance in Harare in the opening round.
“We are better than two months ago. When I see the game of two months ago it was hesitating, it was no confidence, it was new. I was new, the players were new,” the coach said.
“We didn’t have two, three weeks to adapt to each other. We had three, four days. So for me it was waiting and see what would happen on the field.
“What I saw was a team that was not ready in that moment. Certainly mentally they were not ready.
“But three days later [in a 1-0 win at home to Ghana] I saw what I wanted to see. From that time we have grown. We did it [with back-to-back wins] against Ethiopia with character and mentality.
“The game against Zimbabwe, who they will put in is not so important for us. We have to know what we can do and be comfortable. I think that we have a great chance to win it.”
Broos roped MTN8 finalists Cape Town City’s Mduduzi Mdantsane and Fagrie Lakay into his squad. In-form Kaizer Chiefs attacker Keagan Dolly made the cut in the final 24 from Broos’s 36-man provisional squad named on October 26.