Evidence Makgopa: Hugo Broos Backs Orlando Pirates Striker Amid Doubts Over Bafana Bafana Selection

Evidence Makgopa: Hugo Broos Backs Orlando Pirates Striker Amid Doubts Over Bafana Bafana Selection

Robert Abong'o
updated at January 31, 2024 at 2:52 PM
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South Africa
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E. Makgopa
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CAF African Nations Championship
Africa
  • South Africa coach, Hugo Broos has defended his selection of Evidence Makgopa
  • The 23-year-old striker scored in the AFCON 2023 Round of 16 win over Morocco
  • Bafana Bafana next take on the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in the quarter-finals

South Africa head coach, Hugo Broos, has responded to critics questioning his decision to include Evidence Makgopa in the team.

The Belgian coach is confident in the forward and believes in his potential to become a top-notch striker.

Makgopa, who scored his first goal at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations during the last-16 match against Morocco on January 30, played a pivotal role in Bafana Bafana's victory.

South Africa head coach Hugo Broos has backed striker Evidence Makgopa. Photos: Alex Grimm and Ulrik Pedersen.
Bafana Bafana head coach, Hugo Broos has defended his selection of Evidence Makgopa in the AFCON squad. Photos: Alex Grimm and Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

The victory set up Broos’ men for a quarter-final clash with Cape Verde, with the prospect of facing Angola or Nigeria in the semi-finals in Yamousokkro.

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Responding to questions about the impact of Man of the Match, Teboho Mokoena, the coach touched on South Africa's progression in the tournament and noted their improvement in each match.

Addressing the critics of Makgopa, Broos asserted his unwavering belief in the striker, especially after he scored against Africa's top-ranked team - Morocco.

"I always believed in Makgopa. If you work with this guy, he can become a very good striker. He proved it, working hard and scoring a fantastic goal," said Broos, as quoted by iDiski Times.

Broos outlines Bafana's tactics vs Morocco

Looking ahead to the quarter-final against the Blue Sharks, Broos also outlined the strategic analysis that contributed to overcoming Morocco.

He credited the team's familiarity with the opponent and implementing the right tactics as reasons for their success.

Reflecting on the missed opportunities by the Atlas Lions, Broos acknowledged the potential narrative shift if they had capitalized on chances.

However, the Bafana coach remains focused on the upcoming match against Cape Verde and the possibility of facing the in-form Super Eagles in the semi-final.

"It is not the first time we played against them, and we know their team does not change so much. They have good players, so we knew how we should play. Again, I think this was the right tactic. That team is really good," Broos explained, as reported by Far Post.

South Africa is set to face Cape Verde at the Stade Charles Konan Banny de Yamoussoukro on Saturday evening at 10pm local time.

Morocco coach takes responsibility for AFCON exit

Sports Brief also reported that Morocco coach, Walid Regragui expressed disappointment at his team's AFCON 2023 elimination.

Tipped as favourites to win the tournament following their exploits in Qatar, the 1976 champions missed a crucial penalty.

After the match, Regragui took full responsibility for the Atlas Lions' defeat, stating the team would bounce back strongly.

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Robert Abong'o
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