subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now
Bafana coach Hugo Broos. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
Bafana coach Hugo Broos. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

As neighbours Zimbabwe loom large, Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has once again stressed the importance of qualifying for the World Cup off the back of a decent Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign in Ivory Coast in 2023. 

Bafana’s morale should be high after holding Nigeria to a 1-all draw in Uyo on Friday in their third game of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers Group C.

Broos’s men face Zimbabwe in another Group C tie at Free State Stadium on Tuesday (6pm). Bafana returned from Nigeria on a chartered flight on Saturday and headed straight to Bloemfontein.

“You know, I said it already that qualifying for big tournaments like Afcon and the World Cup is very important for the country. You see what happened after we played in Afcon [where they achieved bronze], suddenly everyone says ‘wow, SA'’. It’s important for SA football but it’s also important for SA players because suddenly there is interest in them from Europe,” Broos said.

Zimbabwe head into this fixture low on confidence after they were stunned 2-0 by less-fancied Lesotho at Orlando Stadium on Friday. Lesotho now surprisingly top Group C with five points after three rounds of fixtures, with Rwanda, Benin and Bafana a point behind.

Conceding that Group C was “tricky”, Broos doesn’t expect the Warriors to be pushovers, insisting a defeat would certainly irk him. “We need the three points. I will not be happy if we don’t win against Zimbabwe,” he said.

“But it’s easier to say that here, behind the microphones, because I know that it will be a tough game again on Tuesday night. The group is not made up of top countries, but it is a very tricky group.”

After a flat performance in Nigeria, it remains to be seen if Broos will drop vice-captain Percy Tau from the starting XI. The Belgian had also suggested before the Nigeria game that Orlando Pirates youngster Relebohile Mofokeng will get his chance against Zimbabwe.

subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.