South Africa head coach Hugo Broos has declared his team is “very happy and motivated” to end a 26-year wait for an Africa Cup of Nations final when they take on Nigeria in the semifinals on Wednesday.
The clash against the Super Eagles represents a monumental opportunity for Bafana Bafana to reach their first final since 1998 when they lost to the Pharaohs in the Finals in Ouagadougou.
Broos acknowledged Nigeria will be tough opponents on Wednesday, but insists his team is ready for the challenge.
“We are very happy and motivated that we play tomorrow in the semi-finals of the AFCON, for many people, it was unexpected but we did it and ensure South Africa become a good team,” Broos stated in a pre match press conference on Tuesday.
And also it’s more than 20 years ago that South Africa played in the semi-finals and even more than that we played in the finals, so what that means is that we have a lot of motivation.”
South Africa have won the AFCON only once before in 1996 when they had home advantage. Broos is unfazed by Nigeria’s higher FIFA ranking and recent dominance over his team.
“We are playing against a good team tomorrow, number 6 in the ranking, that means a lot for players playing for us. For many, Nigeria are the favourites to win, but it’s not always the case in football,” the Belgian manager said.
Broos guided Cameroon to African glory in 2017 and is aiming to become just the second coach to win the tournament with two different nations, after Herve Renard’s successes with Zambia and Ivory Coast.
He will be hoping to mastermind a famous South African victory and progression to the final for the first time in over two decades.