Bafana coach Broos hails “special” win over Morocco

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos hailed a “special” win over Morocco in their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash in San Pedro on Tuesday, but warned they must keep their feet on the ground ahead of a quarter-final with Cape Verde on Saturday.

Goals from Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena sealed victory against the World Cup semi-finalists, advancing Bafana to only their third Cup of Nations quarterfinal since 2002.

“We came here (the Ivory Coast) with the first aim of getting out of our group,” Broos said.

“We were delighted to do that but you can’t be certain of going any further when you come up against Morocco. On Saturday we will once again be playing against a dangerous team and we can’t make the mistake of underestimating them.”

Bafana have now beaten the Moroccans twice since the latter’s historic run at the World Cup in Qatar, having also claimed victory in the qualifiers in Soweto.

“Beating a team like Morocco is something special,” said Broos. “This is a very good team with very good players, but we did the right analysis and the way we played, tactically, was the right one.

“In the first half, I thought both teams were a little bit afraid of each other. But, in the second half, as the game was more open with a few chances for Morocco, we scored, and it is always important that you score first.

“Yes, we were a little bit lucky because Morocco started to play power play with all the players in front, with high balls and very hard duels. So, they had a few chances then.

“But, after the second goal, we are in the quarter-final and we are very, very, very happy.”

Broos gave praise to his players, who have now effectively dumped fancied Tunisia and Morocco out of the Cup of Nations in consecutive matches.

“I didn’t do it. The players are the ones who did,” he said. “Every coach hopes that what he is telling the players is that they do the right thing because the players did what we asked.

“They fight from the first minute. They played very disciplined, and we knew that we would have chances today against this team. But when we had the chance, we had to use them, and we did.”

Bafana will now be aiming for a first semifinal since the 2000 finals that were co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria.