AFCON 2023: South Africa’s Coach Hugo Broos Lauds Nigerian Star, Expresses Optimism Ahead of Clash

AFCON 2023: South Africa’s Coach Hugo Broos Lauds Nigerian Star, Expresses Optimism Ahead of Clash

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Ademola Lookman logo
A. Lookman
Atalanta logoFNigeria logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
  • The semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations are on the horizon
  • Nigeria and South Africa are poised to renew their rivalry at the showpiece
  • Coach Hugo Broos has expressed optimism about his side's chances against Nigeria

The final four of the enthralling 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off with another electrifying fixture between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

Both sides, who have seemingly eased their way into the tournament’s semi-final against all odds and predictions, are set to renew their long-standing rivalry at the Stade de la Paix de Bouake on February 7.

AFCON, Nigeria, Super Eagles, South Africa, Bafana Bafana
South Africa's coach Hugo Broos gestures during the Africa Cup of Nations clash against Morocco. Image: Sia Kambou.
Source: Getty Images

As anticipation builds for this high-stakes encounter, pundits and fans have overwhelmingly favoured the Super Eagles to emerge victorious.

This confidence is rooted in Nigeria's historical dominance in previous clashes and the outstanding qualities displayed by the players of the Super Eagles.

However, in the lead-up to this electrifying match, Bafana Bafana's coach, Hugo Broos, has singled out a standout performer from the Super Eagles for commendation, nonetheless expressing optimism and confidence about his team’s chances of securing a pot in the final.

Hugo Broos on Bafana’s AFCON chances

The 71-year-old, who led the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to AFCON success at the 2017 edition of the showpiece, expressed optimism about South Africa’s chances of getting a crucial win over Nigeria.

As reported by Soccernet, he stated:

"The semi-final match will be different against Nigeria, which boasts talented players like [Ademola] Lookman.
We will stay focused, ensure the players are in optimal condition, and prioritise rest and recovery to kickstart our preparation," affirmed the former Cameroon coach."

The septuagenarian's commendation of the 26-year-old resonates widely with fans and individuals globally. The Atalanta forward has assumed the role of Nigeria's most lethal attacker in the tournament, with three goals and an assist in his five appearances.

Broos' optimistic remarks also serve as an effort to instil belief among South Africans who may be uncertain about their team's chances, particularly given Nigeria's success in the last two knockout meetings between the two sides at AFCON.

CAF subjects Osimhen to tests

Sports Brief in another report stated that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have subjected forward Victor Osimhen to a series of doping tests following his display against Cameroon.

The 25-year-old was amongst the eight Nigerian players tested by the competition’s anti-doping committee. However, the Napoli forward was the only player tested twice among all selected.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).