• Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

2026 WCQ: We are confident of a positive result — Hugo Broos

Byekhiweresharon

Jun 7, 2024

By Sharon Ekhiwere

The head coach of the South Africa Senior men’s national football team, Hugo Henri Broos have spoken with optimism ahead of his team’s clash against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Friday in the third game of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, platinumnewsng is reporting.

In a pre-match press conference held at the Stadium, Hugo Broos hailed the experience and quality of the Super Eagles team but played down the chances of Nigeria winning the fixture.

“I think that we are ready for this game, surely, otherwise we shouldn’t be here. Secondly, we all know that Nigeria is a very good team, we played against them in AFCON but as I remember, I think that the result could be the opposite of what it was, we could have been in the final, so that means that both teams are maybe even good and also that the pressure is a little bit on Nigeria because they have to win the game when you play qualifiers of World Cup or AFCON, you can’t lose points at home, so the pressure is a little bit on them.”

“On the other side, we believe and we have confidence, we played a very good game in March against Algeria, so that means we can go on the level we had in AFCON, so, we believe that we can make a good result.”

The Belgian spoke gave an injury update from his team and didn’t think the absence of Victor Osimhen was an issue to his team but to his opponent, the Super Eagles.

“Life is never easy, you know the game of AFCON is something for us, it was a very good game, but the game is finished and tomorrow is another game, so, we can’t just think about it and know that there are things possible, but everyone is 100% fit tomorrow, we don’t have a problem for tomorrow.”

“Osimhen not playing is the problem of Nigeria’s coach, not my problem.”

The former Anderlecht coach didn’t want to see any special inclination with his team to Uyo even though it’s been a favourable ground for them in recent years. To him, the game is just another game, which could provide any possible outcome.

“Tomorrow is another game, it’s a new game, we are confident because since AFCON, everyone in South Africa has started to believe in their team because the results were so good.”

“We will start tomorrow’s game with a lot of confidence, but again, it’s a game of football. You saw what happened in AFCON, I think we were as good as Nigeria but penalties decided the game and it’s not possible tomorrow or maybe it can be a penalty that will decide the game, but you know what that means, it will be decided in 9 minutes and I think we will be able to make a good result.”

The Belgian also spoke confidently about his team’s chances whether or not his side was mainly players based in Africa.

“We indeed have a lot of local players on our team and normally when you see some other African teams they have players playing in competitions of high level but we proved in AFCON that even with local players we can achieve a very high level and this is a big progression that South Africa has made when you compare to the previous years.”

“For me, it’s not really a problem because we proved what we can do with local players. It’s up to our local players to show up tomorrow against those players playing in high-level competitions — it’s a motivation.”

The all-important fixture is expected to kick off at 8pm Nigerian time on Friday.

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