Hugo Broos (Gallo Images)
- Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos said they’ll be fully focused on their qualification task against Zimbabwe and less on what happens between Ghana and Ethiopia.
- Both teams play their Group G encounters on Thursday, with Ethiopia and Ghana playing in the earlier game at 15:00
- Broos said Zimbabwe will be a tricky side to deal with.
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos said his team will be fully focussed on their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe on Thursday despite the significant distraction of the Ghana/Ethiopia game on the same day.
That Group G game will take place at the Orlando Stadium with kickoff at 15:00 while Bafana’s game clash against Zimbabwe will be at 21:00.
The late kick-off puts Bafana Bafana in a position of knowing exactly what they need to do when their turn comes.
Broos made it clear that they’ll be chasing the game and not leave anything to chance.
“I’m very sure that the focus will 100 percent be on Zimbabwe and they will go for it until the 90th minute,” Broos said.
“Then we’ll have just one game until the next round. That doesn’t mean we’ll be in Qatar, but we will definitely be in the next round.
“I don’t think there can be more motivation for a player than qualifying for a World Cup, so not hard for me to keep the players focused.
“The players are ambitious and they know that if we succeed, they’ll be at the World Cup and everyone will be there watching them.”
South Africa has not qualified for a World Cup since the 2002 Japan/Korea edition while their last showpiece appearance was in the 2010 edition when they were the hosts but Broos said his charges aren’t lacking motivation.
“Their value as players will go up and they’ll have opportunities to go to better teams,” Broos said.
“What more can a player wish for? I know I haven’t known the players very long, but I know where their mentality is.
“I’m sure that on the pitch, there will be a team that will be playing for victory.”
The mathematics for Group G is straightforward: A win for Bafana and Ghana in their respective games and Sunday’s clash in Cape Coast becomes a straight shootout.
South Africa will be on 13 points and Ghana will be on 12, but in that eventuality, a draw will do for SA.
A loss against Zimbabwe and a win for Ghana will put the latter in the driving seat, a situation Broos hopes his team will desperately avoid.
“If we don’t win the game tomorrow, especially knowing that Ghana will have won, we will be in some trouble,” Broos said.
“We could be going there a point behind or more and we have a tricky game against Zimbabwe.
“You know how neighbours are, they like to win and they’ll also want to win the game despite being out of the race.
“They’re playing South Africa and that is important to them and they like to impress against South Africa.”