‘Money will motivate them!’ - Is Broos making Bafana Bafana-Liberia excuses?

Hugo Broos, Bafana Bafana, September 2022Backpagepix
  • Broos is worried of highly-motivated Liberia
  • Bafana coach called for causation against Lone Stars
  • South Africa will seal Afcon ticket if they win both matches

WHAT HAPPENED? Broos expressed his concerns over Liberia who he claims have been promised huge bonuses if they upset South Africa and seal a place in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

While South Africa are considered heavy favourites to win both games, the Bafana Bafana coach has called for caution, pointing to Liberia’s returning foreign-based stars, as well as the fact that they will be playing the return match in Monrovia, having hosted their opponents in Morocco last year.

Broos’ men are under pressure to win Friday’s match and get their qualifying campaign back on track after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Morocco on matchday one with the Atlas Lions top of Group K with six points from two matches while Bafana Bafana and the Lone Stars are winless.

The Belgian tactician does, however, have confidence in his squad and wants them to ensure they pick maximum points from the doubleheader before meeting Morocco in June.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “Two tough games are waiting for us, the efforts that Liberia made in the last months shows that they have ambitions, they prepared the stadium to conform to the Fifa rules,” Broos told Safa Media. “Last year in June, they played their home game in Morocco so now we have to go to Monrovia.

“Their foreign-based players want to play again for the national team which was not the case before and I’m told the bonus they get is enormous so that means that we will have a team in front of us who will be motivated.

“It is up to us to not underestimate them even if for some people, it is just Liberia, but we will be making a big mistake to underestimate them.

“The only thing is to look at ourselves, we have more quality, it is not guaranteed that we will win but it is an advantage you have.

“We have a closed group, I feel that it is important because those two games will also be a mental struggle and when you have a closed group, it is always better than when you have a group that doesn't like to be there. If we want to be sure of qualifying, we have to win those two games.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With the top two sides qualifying for the tournament, South Africa will seal their ticket if they manage six points against Liberia, given there are three teams in contention following the suspension of Zimbabwe.

That would make June’s meeting with World Cup semi-finalists Morocco less stressful for Bafana Bafana with only topping the group at stake.

South Africa head into the match after going unbeaten in their last four friendly matches, recording wins against Sierra Leone, Botswana and Mozambique while drawing with Angola.

WHAT’S NEXT? Broos’ men host Liberia on Friday before the return leg in Monrovia four days later.