Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Broos lauds Lepasa for telling contribution in Bafana’s Afcon qualification

'He scored a fantastic goal and he is very quick and he was always there for us the whole game,' said the Bafana head coach.

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos praised the contribution of striker Zakhele Lepasa, after the SuperSport United striker led the line superbly in a 2-1 win in Liberia on Tuesday that qualified Bafana for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

ALSO READ: Broos – Now you can kill me if we don’t reach the Afcon knockouts

Lepasa was a surprise inclusion as the main striker, with Lyle Foster feeling ill on the morning of the match, but grabbed Bafana’s first goal and generally pressed Liberia from the front very well.

“On Friday (Bafana drew 2-2 with Liberia at Orlando Stadium) … when we lost the ball we were not immediately pressing. I know Zakhele, the guy runs for 90 minutes,” said Broos.

“He scored a fantastic goal and he is very quick and he was always there for us the whole game. That is why we changed to Zakhele. Also Lyle didn’t feel well this morning and we couldn’t take a risk (with him), we knew we needed players who were at 100 percent.”

Bafana can now take on Morocco at home in June in a game that has far less at stake, with both sides already qualified for the Afcon finals.

“I am very happy we have qualified … some guys were talking about a draw (in Liberia),”

That would have left qualifying very much open until Bafana and Liberia’s final matches of Group K.

“We play Morocco in June and they only play them in September,” continued Broos.

“You know with this programme anything can happen. I don’t say it is deliberate, but it could be in June that Morocco come to South Africa with a good team, and that in September they are already preparing for the Afcon, and bring a team with less quality (to play Liberia).

“Now for us this (the game against Morocco) is a very good friendly game, even if it is a qualifier, the result is not important. But we will try to prepare the team well and to be ready in January in the Ivory Coast (at the Afcon finals).”

Controlling your emotions

Broos, meanwhile, defended Bafana team manager Vincent Ntseka, who was sent off in the first half against Liberia in Monrovia, and was caught on camera delivering a volley of expletives at Ghanaian referee Daniel Nii Laryea.

“I think emotions sometimes make people do things they regret afterwards.

“I was not there on Friday (Broos refused to speak to the media after Bafana’s 2-2 draw with Liberia at home). And I knew why, we lost the victory and then you have to be very careful.

“What I saw today were a few decisions from the referee that were not right. I could have control of my emotions but ok, this guy didn’t. We can’t say we approve or agree but they are emotions and tomorrow maybe you will do something like that.”

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