Broos singles out Morocco as Bafana’s biggest threat

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has singled out Morocco as the team to beat in Group K of the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

South Africa were drawn with neighbours Zimbabwe, Morocco and Liberia. The qualifiers roar to life on 30 May, with the top two group stage finishers making it to the 24-team tournament.

Broos said the Atlas Lions, who went as far as the quarterfinals in the 2021 edition held in Cameroon, were the biggest threat in the group. 

“It’s clear that Morocco is the best team in our group, they were in Afcon in January and were eliminated by Egypt, and it’s a very good team. Maybe Morocco is the best in our group,” said Broos. “They have some players who are playing in Belgium, like [Selim] Amallah, like [Samy] Mmaee, so I know this team very well. I think if we want to be first in the group, we have to beat Morocco.”

The North African country also has PSG’s Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saïss, who turns out for Wolves in England, and is trying to convince Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech to come out of his early retirement.

Zimbabwe, the other team in the group, have their participation in the qualifiers hanging in the balance due to a Fifa ban.

“We played Zimbabwe for the World Cup qualifiers; we know them very well, and we played them twice. It’s a tough team. If we can beat them twice, it will be good for us,” Broos added.

While he believes Liberia are the weakest team in the group, he warned that underestimating them could be detrimental. He said they would look at Liberia’s previous games and study them before the qualifiers kick-off. 

Bafana narrowly missed out on the final stage of the 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup qualifiers after losing to Ghana in Cape Coast. Broos will be hoping to qualify for the next edition of the Afcon. The 2023 Afcon tournament will take place in May and June next year. 

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