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Bafana Bafana coach Broos relieved as Sierra Leone win eases 'negativity' around South Africa team

7:42 pm AEST 25/9/22
Hugo Broos, Bafana Bafana, September 2022
South Africa coach Hugo Broos breathed a huge sigh of relief following Saturday's 4-0 win over Sierra Leone in an international friendly match.
  • Bafana ended a four-match winless run
  • Coach cautious about celebrating too much
  • Tougher challenges expected ahead

WHAT HAPPENED? It was finally a victory for South Africa. Defeats to Ghana, France and Morocco, as well as a draw with Guinea, were piling pressure on Bafana Bafana. It was also drawing questions around coach Broos' ability to lead the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winners. But on Saturday, Bafana had something to smile about, beating Sierra Leone in emphatic fashion. Mamelodi Sundowns forward Themba Zwane grabbed a brace on his return to the national team while Mihlali Mayambela scored on his debut and another Masandawana player Aubrey Modiba wrapped up victory with the fourth goal. But Broos is demanding more from Tuesday's friendly match against Botswana.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I’m a happy coach today, not only because we won 4-0 but because after we lost our three last games, the negativity around Bafana Bafana was so big that we needed that today,” said Broos as per iDiski Times. 
“It’s not only the performance on the pitch, the chances we had, the goals we scored, so we won a lot of confidence today and this was fairly important, this was the goal before these two friendly games and I hope the team will do the same next Tuesday [against Botswana].  It’s not enough, we are happy today but we [want] to be happy on Tuesday evening after the game against Botswana. I expect the same mentality, the same performance of what they did today.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The past four results were morale-sapping and had fans turning against Bafana Bafana. Calls for Broos to step down were growing louder. But after Saturday's win, confidence appears to have been restored in the national team as they prepare for March 2023's back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR BAFANA BAFANA? Bafana now prepare to host Botswana at FNB Stadium on Tuesday. It will be another friendly match they are keen to win to boost their confidence ahead of the Liberia matches.