Bafana coach responds to ‘disappointing’ defeat

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Bafana lost 2-1 to hosts Morocco in a tough 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on Thursday night.

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The Moroccans were widely regarded as strong favourites to win the match, but Bafana would score first to lead the match for the majority of the contest before conceding two goals in the second half. 

Lyle Foster stunned the home fans into silence when he beat goalkeeper Yassine Bounou with a well-taken low shot in the seventh minute to put the visitors in the lead. Sphephelo Sithole, who shrugged off the attentions of two advancing Moroccans deep in his own half, delivered an inch-perfect pass that a grateful Foster stuck into the back of the net.

Morocco piled on the pressure as they desperately went in search of an equaliser but whenever they managed to get past the Bafana Bafana rearguard, they found captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams in an uncompromising mood. Williams made a series of impressive saves to deny the Moroccans, ensuring that the visitors were still in the lead at the half-time break.

The Moroccans maintained the tempo after the restart and continued to ask serious questions of Williams and his men in the back. The pressure finally told when Youssef En-Nesyri beat Williams with a header from close range in the 51st minute.

But the north Africans were not done and Ayoub El Kaabi scored the winner in the 87th minute, giving the home side a three-point lead at the summit in Group K.  

Bafana cannot avoid to suffer another defeat

In response, Broos suggested the team now knew what they had to do going forward.

“It’s not the result we wanted,” Broos said. “For a long time in the game, I thought we could win, then after the first goal we conceded I was happy to take one point. To concede the second goal so close to the end was disappointing. 

“We now know what to do in September,” he added. “I was not disappointed with the performance today. We fought for it against a very strong Moroccan team, so that was good. Let’s hope we can do it twice in September with two victories [against Liberia].”

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