South Africa manager Hugo Broos was left heartbroken after his side’s dramatic 4-2 penalty shootout defeat to Nigeria in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final, saying “it’s hard to accept” Bafana Bafana is not in the Final.
Bafana Bafana battled back from 1-0 down to equalize in the 90th minute, before ultimately losing on spot-kicks to the Super Eagles.
Despite the disappointment, Broos remained adamant his spirited side deserved to reach Sunday’s final.
“Football can be hard sometimes. When you see the performance of my team today, and then there is penalties, and then you lose the penalties and you are not in the finals, it’s hard to accept that because we played very good game today,” Broos told reporters.
“I think we were the best team in the first half, we got the best chances, Nigeria didn’t have any chance. Second half they have few chances which resulted in a goal and we changed something tactically, and we could come back.
“We created more chances which means if we had scored, we would have been in the final and not Nigeria,” he rued.
The Belgian praised his team’s overall AFCON displays, acknowledging their sorrow but also expressing immense pride.
“It’s a big disappointment for everyone. We believe we played a very good game, not just today but throughout the tournament. I’m proud of my players. The disappointment is this but the proudness is that,” he stated.
South Africa now face DR Congo in Saturday’s third-place playoff. Bafana Bafana will aim to sign off their impressive campaign on a winning note.