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‘We were not ready for Ghana’ – South Africa coach concedes

South Africa coach Hugo Broos has conceded that the Bafana Bafana were not ready to face Ghana during the 2022 World Cup qualifying final Group G game.

South Africa succumbed in the group decider back in November 2021 courtesy of Andre Ayew’s penalty as the Black Stars booked qualification for the African playoffs by goals scored.

The South African Football Association filed a protest against the performance of Senegalese referee Ndiaye, questioning the legitimacy of the penalty and others.

However, Fifa said their petition was inadmissible and, therefore, thrown out.

Three months after the game, Broos, who complained bitterly about everything, has now said his team was not ready for the game.

“The challenges, I think, [that came] after the qualifiers for the World Cup, we evaluated the team and saw that there were some weaknesses, certainly in the game against Ghana. The team was not ready to play such a game.

“We saw that Ghana started the game very aggressively and we didn’t have an answer to that, so that was one of the things we saw, and therefore we started to look for other players and see where we could improve the team.

South Africa will be playing two international friendly games in March against Guinea and France, Broos said the Bafana Bafana will correct their weaknesses in those games.

“So those two games [against France and Guinea] are not really about the results but more about preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in June.

“So there will be new players, we will see if they are playing well in their clubs and then see if they perform for Bafana, which is a level higher.

“Let us hope that they improve the team. So we are using these games to be ready for June and know that we have a stronger team than the team that played in the [World Cup] qualifiers.”  

Broos said he intends to experiment in Europe and will not place a heavy emphasis on the results Bafana Bafana achieve against France and Guinea. 

“These are friendly games, but they are more about preparation. These games are an opportunity for us to try some things. You cannot try things when you are playing qualifiers, you have to be sure when you put your team on the pitch. You have to be sure that those are the right players in the right positions.

“Now we can try [new things now] and we can see what that those players are giving to the team.  I’m thinking about Mosele [Goodman], I’m thinking about Shandu [Bandile], I’m thinking about Lakay [Fagrie].

“Those players can be an improvement for us. The result for me is not so important, not at all. But  I want to see the things we try in those games can be improvement for the team or not.”