Bafana warned against underestimating ‘minnows’
"Playing 10 games is very long and we already saw some surprises with Nigeria drawing," says Rohr.
Gernot Rohr, coach of Benin (right) with Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Qualifier match at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
Benin head coach Gernot Rohr has warned Bafana Bafana against underestimating the so-called minnows in Group C of the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
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Qualifying for the World Cup that will be jointly hosted by Mexico, United States and Canada won’t be a walk in the park but Benin, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Rwanda shouldn’t pose that much of a challenge for Bafana Bafana.
Nigeria alongside the ’96 Africa Cup of Nations champions are the only two nations who have previously qualified for the World Cup in Group C.
Rohr emphasised that qualifiers are a marathon and not a sprint after Bafana began their campaign with a 2-1 win over Benin to take control of the group.
“When I arrived a few months ago there were a lot of players that were over 30,” said Rohr who took over the reins at the West African country in March.
“We had to bring in a lot of younger players so we’re still in this period of building and constructing a new team.That’s why I’m optimistic for the future because a game against Bafana allowed them to learn a lot and will make them progress.
“In this competition now we have six countries. Playing 10 games is very long and we already saw some surprises with Nigeria drawing.”
South Africa are away to Rwanda on Tuesday looking to stretch their lead at the top of the table while Benin will play Lesotho. Nigeria dropped points again following yet another 1-1 draw away to Zimbabwe on Sunday.
“We tried to also surprise Bafana but we lacked a little bit of discipline in defence,” continued Rohr.
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“We scored a nice goal in the second half and we could have scored a second one but it was not good enough.
“Our chance now will be on Tuesday against Lesotho but we need more discipline in defence and not concede again in the first minute because that is very bad.”
Rohr has previously managed Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria who he helped secure qualification to the 2018 World Cup.